One common characteristic among the world’s best putters is their tempo or ratio.
Great putters follow a 2 to 1 ratio. What does that mean? Simply put, the time that it takes for the putter head to move from the address position to the completion of the backstroke is two times longer than from the top of the backstroke to impact. For example a putter who employs a backswing that takes 600 milliseconds will provide a forward swing that takes 300 ms, that tempo or ratio is 2 to 1. Although some players possess a slower or quicker tempo all great putters subscribe to that same balanced ratio.
Now what does that have to do with the finish position of the putter? I’m glad you asked. Let’s dive in. The best putters arrive to impact with their putter head already going the appropriate speed. They do this by taking a backstroke that is long enough for the required distance and they produce a consistent frequency or tempo. When I say consistent I mean on every putt of every length the tempo is the same! The time that it takes your putter to stroke a 3 foot putt is the same time it takes your putter to stroke a 50 foot putt. The only difference is that on the 50 foot putt the putter head travels a further distance and has more velocity but is still inside the same timestamp using our original example of 600 and 300 for backswing and forward swing.
If you watch the finish position of the best putters they are all similar. The putter head does not go too far past the outside of their front foot. Players who struggle on the greens with distance control often have a short slow backstroke followed by an aggressive accelerating forward stroke with a long finish. These players are constantly trying to guess how much acceleration to add to control the distance. This makes for poor distance control.
See the video attached for an easy way to learn how to arrive at the ball with the correct speed and have a finish that is appropriate for exceptional distance control.