Tom Lewis putting clinic: Pace

2011 European Tour Rookie of the Year works on getting the ball to the hole

Tom Lewis
Wed, 16 May 2012

Tom Lewis putting clinic: Pace

In the second part of Tom Lewis’ putting clinic from Marriott's Hanbury Manor, the English sensation opens up on the importance of pace putting. Over to you, Tom.

So we’ve worked on the technique, now it’s time to gain a feel for the pace of the greens with pace putting. You can bring technology into golf as much as you want, but putting is all about feel.

I typically position five tee pegs on the green from 15 feet, 18 feet, 21 feet, 24 feet and 27 feet and place a club two feet behind the cup. If I miss, I want the ball running past the hole to finish in between the cup and the club. They say 18 inches past the hole is the best pace at which to hole a putt – placing a club down gives you a good sensation of how far to hit the putt past the hole.

When you feel comfortable at 15 feet, move back another three feet and so on. I like running the ball with good pace at the hole on long putts as not only has it the most of chance of going in, but if you miss, you can watch the line of the putt as it goes past. If you leave a putt short, you don’t have that option and are more likely to miss the return.

On long putts, a lot of people look up too early but then don’t get a sensation of how hard they’ve hit the ball. If you’ve got the pace and the line, you’ve got a chance of holing it.

Walk to the ball slowly. Visualise the putt and see the ball rolling, visualising it going into the hole. Look down, take a practice swing, look up, take another practice swing, look at the hole, take your stance, one more look at the hole, head down and putt.

Don’t panic. Don’t rush to the ball and assume you’re going to three or four putt. Take your time. There is no time limit on how much you should spend on pace putting, just move onto holing out practice once you’re comfortable. 

On Friday, I will show you a holing out drill. Stay tuned to Golfmagic for more.

More from Lewis

Tom Lewis Putting Clinic 1: Technique

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