Angus Murray
By Dr. Gary Wiren
Friday, February 01, 2008

This story is for you if...

• You leave short putts short, or they lose their line due to a lack of speed
• You're unsure how hard to hit them

A small pencil and four tees can help you avoid decelerating on short putts and give you a realistic idea of just how firm you need to stroke the ball so that it rolls into the center of the cup.

Here's how to do it

• Secure a scorecard pencil between two sets of tees in front of the hole as shown.
• Putt a few balls from anywhere from three to five feet from the hole. The idea is to hit these putts with enough force that the ball pops over the pencil and then into the hole. You'll quickly learn that to sink your putts with the proper amount of speed, you can't baby the ball to the hole, nor can you rocket it, because too much speed will pop the ball over both the pencil and the hole.
• Once you get to the point where you can consistently pop eight out of 10 putts over the pencil and into the hole, remove the pencil and try to sink your putts with the same velocity through the two tees—these putts should always hit somewhere on the back of the cup. Then remove the tees and work on maintaining the same speed and line.

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