Any simple advice to deal with the dreaded “decel”? Sometimes, I fall in love with the line (usually the more difficult part of the process), but forget to ensure that the ball gets to the hole. Thanks.
Thanks for your question. This is a common problem that has a few solutions.
Generally the “dreaded decel” (deceleration) happens when you are anxious about a putt and as you say, there is a tendancy to focus too much on the line of the putt. When this happens, we find that many golfers look up too soon. It might seem like an obvious solution but be sure to keep your head steady and down through the putt.
When you come up too soon to look at the putt, there is the risk that you will make contact with the ball very low on the face of the putter. This is not good if you are using a blade style putter like a Ping Anser or Scotty Cameron blade because there is very little forgiveness low on the face of these putters. The Frankly Frog, because of the way it is weighted offers much more forgiveness low on the face and there is more chance of the ball reaching the hole, even if it is slightly mishit.
The next piece of advice I would give you is when you are preparing to putt, you need to bring together both elements of the putt: the line and the pace at which you want to see the ball falling in the hole. That is a crucial part of preparation and one that will help you relax because you have the whole picture of the putt in your mind, then you just go ahead and make the putt. In The Fundamentals of Putting we specifically outline a series of steps that you can follow to build a consistent process in your routine before you putt.
So in summary: if you are putting with a blade, consider a more of a mallet headed design such as a Frankly Frog. Before you putt be sure to bring both elements of the putt, line and pace, together in your mind and finally remember to keep your head down through the stroke. Listen for the ball falling in the hole.