I see a lot of golfers who are struggling with their putting and focussing all their efforts on the direction control but, speed is the key thing they should be focussing on. The speed of a putt dictates whether long putts finish close to the hole, determines the amount you aim left or right for breaking putts (consistently controlling speed will make you a better green reader), increases the effective width of the hole for making putts and of course, putts that finish short of the hole never go in and if struck too hard, stay of by defying gravity. Below are the best ways to determine what aspects of your putting stroke are making it difficult for you to consistently control and hole your putts.
Putts struck from different parts of the putter face will travel different distances even with a putting stroke that appliers the same force. Many golfers don’t recognise this as its easier to see when full shots are mishit as their flight is so different from a well struck shot, but all putts remain on the ground and just finish too long or short of the hole.
If this sounds like it might be you, here are a few simple tests you can do to see what aspects of your putting technique you need to improve.
Check where the sweet spot on the putter face by suspending your putter with one hand and tap the face with the forefinger of your other hand. When you tap the sweet spot, the putter face wont twist.
A good drill you can do indoors is to place two small balls of Blu Tack (or similar) either side of the sweet spot with enough room left in the centre with some margin for error. Depending on the depth of face on your putter, to check your vertical strike, place a coin or coins behind the ball you are going to strike so that the centre of your putter face is level with the middle of the ball. You should be strike putts from the sweet spot without hitting the Blu Tack or coin/s otherwise you need to make some improvements to your stroke.
You can do a similar drill outdoors on a putting green by making a small gate with two tees with just enough room to swing your putter head through. Then push a tee in the ground just behind a line drawn and in the middle of the two tees so that if when you rest your putter on it, the centre of the putter face is opposite the centre of a ball. Just like the previous drill, you should be strike putts from the sweet spot without hitting any of the tees otherwise you need to make some improvements to your stroke.