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Accelerating the Forward Push

By: Bob Burns

Golf Professional

One reason for stubbed putts is a tendency to "baby" the ball on short shots. This error, in turn, is often caused by too much back swing. The player realizes at the last minute that he has gone back too far and is about to hit the ball too hard so he eases up just before contact. The result is a shot hit too short and almost always off line. 

Even on the shortest shots, the club head should be accelerating rather than slowing down as it meets the ball. To make sure that the club head is gaining speed at impact, take a shorter back swing on the chips. By doing so, you will be forced to accelerate the club head in order to get desired distance, be it 10 feet or 10 yards. 

Experiment with the length of the back swing until you get the feeling that the club head is picking up speed as it goes through the ball. Don't quit on the shot—keep the club head moving right at the flag stick. 

A few minor adjustments in address position are necessary. Keep most of the weight toward the left foot and use a slightly open stance. The ball should be played off the right foot. These alterations will help you avoid hitting behind the ball. 

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