Most of us who golf know how important putting is to scoring well. Putting helps convert good approach shots into birdies or pars. Putting can also save us by preserving pars or save us from making a large number. But there are two key components golfer need to putt well. It is not a specific fundamental like stance or grip. It is something more basic than that.
The two key components to putting are line and speed. These are the yin and yang of putting. They are two separate yet correlated entities of successful putting. Line and Speed need to work in harmony. Without this harmony your golf ball will have a difficult time finding its destiny.
Line is determined by the sideways slope in the green. If the right hand side of the greens contour is higher than the left then gravity will take over and the ball will turn to the left.
Speed is determined by the length of the grass, grain of the grass, uphill or downhill slopes, moisture in the greens, and even wind conditions.
Many of us have had days where out speed was good but our line was way off. Or we stroke the ball with more speed than the line required missing on the high side and running too far by the hole.
Today I had the nightmare round on the greens. You may as well have blindfolded me prior to reaching the green, place me beside my ball and say good luck. Worst part is it was on a golf course I know very well. If I read a putt that I thought should broke to the right it went left. My speed was able to roll through any lumpy doughnut Dave Pelz could have thrown at me today. Most of my putts went too far past the hole and with that speed I should have have read half the amount of break in most putts.
After having four three putts and a missed birdie and eagle try from inside 8 feet in the first 13 holes I was able to finish the round with somewhat respectable putting. I began to focus on the speed I wanted to roll the ball and chose the line to match that speed. I finished with two one putts and lipped out a birdie in the last six holes. Frustrating round because if it was not for my putting I probably would have had the round of the year. With the season winding down this may have been the last one of the year.