This week, Ernie Els goes over his final fundamental of putting – How the length of stroke determines distance.
“One of the big differences between amateurs and professionals lies in the pace of the stroke. Lots of amateurs have a tendency to maintain a similar length stroke for most putts and apply varying degrees of force in the downswing to send the ball the required distance. The professional, on the other hand, varies the length of the stroke and maintains the same tempo, whatever the range. A far more reliable system.
I want you to start thinking more like the professionals. Try to maintain the same pace and tempo in your putting stroke, varying the distance you hit the ball by varying the length of your stroke.
One final thing: with every putt you hit – from long rakers to tap-in tiddlers, from slick downhillers to steep uphillers – you have to accelerate the putter into the back of the ball. I don’t care how slick the greens are, you have to go through faster than you went back. That’s a rule you can’t afford to break.
With short putts, like the one pictured, economy of movement is essential. You simply can’t afford too many moving parts. Just keep your stroke tidy going back and accelerate the putter into the ball.
Now, as you move further away from the hole, you need to work on the principle of gradually increasing the length of your stroke accordingly. The actual tempo remains unchanged.”
Thank you, Ernie!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of putting tips from Ernie. We will continue to bring you tips in all areas of your game from other instructors along with more tips from Ernie.