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Learning to Putt with Perfect Tempo

Tempo is something that is usually thought about in reference to the golf swing. However, good tempo is just as important on the putting green. When you make a putting stroke, the tempo that you use has a lot to do with how far the ball with roll out – a crucial element in good putting. Also, getting the putter face back to square with your target line at impact is easier when you use a smooth tempo back and through the stroke.

Following are some basic tips on improving the tempo of your putting stroke.

  • Lighter grip pressure. Squeezing the grip of the putter too tight during the stroke is a common mistake, and one that can make it very difficult to maintain good tempo. Since you aren’t swinging the putter very hard, you shouldn’t need much grip pressure to keep control over it while you roll the putt. Make sure your hands are comfortable on the putter, and nice and relaxed, and it will be much easier to make a stroke with good tempo.
  • Slow down. When you get in a rush on the putting green, you will tend to hurry through your stroke and your tempo will suffer. Usually, this happens because of nerves. If you are nervous about your upcoming putt, take a couple deep breaths and relax before you get ready to play the shot. Rushing into the putt will only make it harder to be successful – take a couple extra seconds to calm yourself down and stay focused on using good tempo.
  • Practice a lot of long putts. It is easier to have good tempo on your long putts because you aren’t as worried about making the putt – you are just trying to get a good roll on the ball and have it finish close to the hole. Work on your long putts on the putting green, and then try to carry that same tempo into your short putts – only with a smaller stroke.
  • Watch the pros. Professional golfers generally have great tempo with their putters. Watch some golf on TV (or in person, if possible) and pay close attention to how they make their putting strokes. When you get back to working on your game, try to copy their approach and find a good tempo that works for you. When you pay attention to having good tempo on the greens, it is amazing how often the ball will find its way into the hole.
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