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In the video above, Nick Drane, PGA Professional and Master Fitting Specialist at the Titleist Performance Centre, Woburn, explains the importance of the putting backswing vs follow through.
If you're struggling to get the ball started on the correct line, or if you find that your distance control is lacking consistency, be sure to give this video a watch.
You will often hear people talk about the importance of accelerating the putter through impact. We certainly don't want to be decelerating, but if you watch the best putters in the world, they keep the putter head at a constant speed. Understanding this will help you discover the flow that is often behind a great putting stroke.
Thinking too much accelerating the head can lead to a few problems, the first of which concerns distance control. Put simply, it makes it hard to be consistent from range.
So, what you tend to see is this short backswing, and then a long, jerky follow through. As well as making it hard to get the distance right, it also makes it difficult to maintain a square clubface towards your intended target line - so you can clearly see from the picture below that I'm going to pull it.
Related: How To Stop Pushing Iron Shots
Key Putting Fundamentals
A couple of basics at set-up can help you to understand the importance of putting backswing vs follow through. I take the putter in the palms of my hands and adopt a nice, wide base. What you're trying to remove is any unnecessary wrist movement that will give acceleration to that putter head. A good address position will help you find more control of the putter with you needing to grip it any tighter.
Use Your Feet
You can use your feet as a reference for the length of stroke. So, if you watch the backswing and follow through in the video, you'll see how they are very similar in length. The images above and below show the same thing.
By keeping the length of the stroke fairly consistent - back and follow through - you should be able to maintain control of the clubface and judge distance more easily. Obviously, during a game of golf we're going to be faced with putts of different lengths. The key to being successful with putting from distance, is to maintain a very similar length backswing and follow through.
Tee Peg Drill
This is a simple drill that will help you to focus on your backswing and follow through - and, ultimately, improve your distance control. Place a tee peg 10ft, 20ft and 30ft away, and practise putting to each one. See how close you can maintain that grouping.
Even just varying the length of your stroke - so just outside the back foot, to just outside the front foot - and observing what distance that produces, is going to be extremely valuable.
A good drill that provides a nice visual to help you focus on clubface control, is the 3-ball window. Think about how you need to keep the clubface square through this 3-ball window. It's more a visual to have, or you can hover the putter over the three balls and make a stroke.
Most of the great putters in the world of golf have a flow and rhythm to their stroke. These tips and drills will help with your backswing and followthrough to create that smooth stroke that will lead to more putts finding the target.
Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.
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