Putting Practice with Tour Pro [Behind the Scenes]
Coaching, Motor Learning

Putting Practice with Tour Pro [Behind the Scenes]

We got an exclusive look into the practice of Tom Lovelady, and what he works on when he goes to the putting green. 

The first thing that sticks out about Tom’s practice is how intentional it is, there is no wasted motion and everything he is doing has a purpose.

How many times do you see players just drop a couple balls on the green, hit the same putt three times, and move on without learning anything from what they just did.

Tom makes sure that his practice is very intentional, rarely hitting the same putt twice in a row. This allows Tom to replicate the golf course, because as we all know, you only get one chance to hit the putt when it counts. 

The next theme to Tom’s practice that stuck out was his constant attention to speed.

He makes sure to mention that every player has a different speed they like to see the ball go into the hole, and marrying that speed to the line you choose is so important.

Using a tool like the Perfect Putter, Tom is able to find the speed that he likes with each of the putts at his practice station, and then practice seeing the ball break into the cup at that specific speed.

This is vital on the golf course because being able to visualize and execute a putt to a certain speed is so important to becoming a better putter. 

Tom is very candid and honest about identifying his weaknesses and turning them into strengths. He talks about his strokes gained putting stats from the previous year on tour and how he struggled from 4-8 feet. He identified this weakness and purchased a tool that would help him better understand line and pace on his putts. Especially when putting on fast greens with a decent amount of slope, marrying line and speed in crucial to have a chance of making it.

Golfers need to be able to see what needs improving in their own game, and be humble enough with themselves to address it. 

Another point that Tom makes a point of is hitting the ball in the same spot on the putter every time. He talks about knowing his stroke, and understanding that to achieve the contact that he wants with his putter, his stroke needs to have a short and low follow through.

This allows him to hit the ball with a slight descending blow and connect with the putter in the same spot every time. This is such an important aspect in speed control, because if you hit three different putts on three different spots on the face, they will all have different speeds. 

The last point that Tom addresses is how he sees the putts rolling into the hole. It is very interesting because Tom does this differently depending on the putt.

Some players like to pick a spot, and some tend to see a line of the ball entering the hole, while Tom says that on uphill putts he picks a spot in the back of the cup and on downhill putts he sees a line into the hole.

This is interesting because essentially his process is changing putt to putt. It is a method that he taught himself and clearly works for him as he has made it to the PGA Tour.

It is important for aspiring golfers to find what works for them and stick to it.

There is nothing wrong with developing your own process and owning it, as long as it is effective for you. 

Tom gives incredible insight into the practice routine of a PGA Tour player, so the next time that you find yourself bored on the putting green, make practice intentional, fun, and interesting and you too can improve your putting. 

Previous ArticleNext Article
Avatar
Founder and chief curator of the Golf Science Lab. Documenting what's going on in the world of research and beyond that can help you play your best golf on the golf course (when it counts). Join the movement of researched based coaching over trusting beliefs and what worked for one person a few decades ago. Follow on Twitter