Putting strength and “turbo” putts

By • Category: Features, Putting

This topic is meant to address the question of at what distance you see the putt coming off the club more quickly, hence having to play less break.

Obviously, this topic had several different opinions, with no one being able to nail down exactly what you can expect from longer putts.

To expand, I wanted to see if someone knew the distance(s) that the “governor” for your putter changes to allow you to get longer putts to the hole. Let’s say I have a 60 foot putt with 3 degree break. I don’t know whether to play the break as if it’s a 30-foot putt, or as if it’s like an 80-foot putt. I don’t think I have to play as much break on the longer putt because of the extra power, but I’m wondering where those break point(s) are so I can know what to expect when the ball leaves the putter.

Consensus is that the “turbo” putt kicks in around 82 feet (though some say 80, 81, and 84). For a 90 ft putt (turbo), hit it like its a 40 footer. For a 120 foot putt hit it more like a 90 footer.  This is important knowledge so you can play appropriate break and give yourself a chance to drain a longer putt.

Others claim there is no “strong putter” or “weak putter.” There is no set distance where it changes, and the reaction you get all depends on the hole and the specific putt.

A common recommendation is to try to hit EVERY putt the exact same speed. Speed control on putting is HUGE, as it allows your muscle memory to remember the angle and speed of every putt. The only time to hit a putt any softer is when you have severe down slope — like 9 or 10 degrees. For putts like these that also have side slope, you can either pull back to the A (or C) and hit it slightly softer. For straight downhill putts, you can pull back straight just a tiny bit to B and hit it very softly to 2.

Another example: a 50-foot putt on flat ground will always play the same. A 50-foot uphill putt will change speed depending on how much slope you’re going up (for an up 10, expect the ball to be dying in the hole).

One final note for long putts — if you use your thumbs to putt, play more break on a longer left putt and less break on a longer right putt. If the putt is uphill, of course, you’ll need more break on both of those.

Any additional comments are welcome as we try to nail down specific details of longer putts, if any more details even exist!

is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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5 Responses »

  1. Those tips, along with most your others are BALLS ON!
    Nice job GTF! And as Duffer says, may the Schwartz be with you. Roflmao

  2. I feel that when it comes to putting it is usually best if you are right next to the hole after getting some serious shotties. But there are the times when you are looking at a R6 U2 from 75ft. This is when it just comes down to skill and having spent several hours and thousands of dollars playing. I play with both the thumbers and the spackers and have come to the conclusion that for right putts are for the thumbs and the lefts are better with the palm, but then again I am a righty. Again it is better to be close or just hole it out. Keep Swinging


  3. “One final note for long putts — if you use your thumbs to putt, play more break on a longer left putt and less break on a longer right putt.” Can you elaborate on this? Why would it be different on one side than the other?

  4. I happen to agree with this comment — I don’t know whether or not there is technically more break on a left breaker than a right breaker, but it sure seems that way to me. I think it’s just because I’m right-handed. I don’t have as much problem with right-breakers — I can usually ram those in. But left-breakers — I really have to push it out there or else I’ll miss left! It’s just a matter of what you observe during the course of play and how you putt individually.

  5. I’d really like to question the veracity of pulling back towards “A” on steep downhill putts. When this little nugget was introduced to our particular circle of players, we immediately put it to the test. After a number of games or experimenting, and after debating at length with nay-sayers, we all came to the conclusion that “A” is pretty much the placebo effect, and “C” is the only direction that actually takes the heat off of the putt.

    So far I’ve only seen passing references to this technique; is there an article buried somewhere on this site that discusses it in any detail?

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