Have you ever looked back on a round and thought to yourself, “Man, I wish I didn’t have those 3-putts.” or, “I had such a great sand shot, if only I had made the putt!”? As a professional golfer, I try to focus on the positives, but sometimes a particular statistic just stares you right in the face – putts per round.
Following Stage I of the LPGA Qualifying School this past August, I found myself competing in three Symetra Tour events. While my long game kept up with the Symetra girls, I noticed that my putting was lagging (no pun intended). As soon as I got home, my swing coach, Martin Hall, introduced me to Blast Motion, and my confidence in putting has soared this off-season.
Blast Motion is a sensor you attach to your putter, or any club, and it helps you track your stroke’s time, speed, and direction. The last few weeks, I have been focusing on my putting stroke timing. Both my coach and Blast’s Product Education Specialist, Granger Beaton, agree that the optimal time is a 0.60 second back stroke and a 0.30 second forward stroke. The best putters in the world only vary only one hundredth of a second from this 2.0:1 tempo ratio.
With this in mind, I use my Blast sensor either on my carpet or at the course for 15 minutes a day. It has only been a few weeks, yet I have already seen tremendous improvement in my putting statistics. Not only have I significantly decreased my 3-putts per round, but I also feel more confident on those pesky 4- to 5-footers. This has led to an increase in my scrambling and sand save statistics!
A question I have found myself asking after using Blast is how do I use the 0.60/0.30 rule on shorter putts without feeling jerky or too slow? After talking with Granger, I learned that the timing remains the same, but the stroke’s length decreases. I have yet to master this part of my putting, but I am willing to keep working at it because I believe in the physics behind Blast.
Once I have my timing consistently at the 2.0:1 ratio, I can graduate within the Blast Motion app to training my speed and direction. Timing has improved my putting so much that I cannot wait to explore the rest of the app. As I become more aware of the mechanics behind my putting stroke, I become more confident with my game. That is a beautiful thing, both for professional golfers and for weekend warriors.
~ Kelly Okun