To be a great putter, you need to be able to have good technique which we measure on the SAM putt lab. Technique includes path, aim at address, aim at impact, rise angle, adding loft to putter or taking away loft to putter at impact, rotation rate, where the contact is on the face, rhythm, and tempo. You also need to have good speed control which we also measure on the SAM putt lab. Green reading is also a critical component to being a good putter. I am a certified AimPoint Instructor if you need any help with green reading. I would also add that there is a mental component to being a good putter.
The most important factor in putting is distance and the most important factor in achieving good distance control is consistent tempo. Consistent speed control is what separates a good putter from a bad one. Tempo is the timing of the overall rhythm of the putting stroke. The timing is always the same, no matter if you have a three foot putt or a 90 foot putt. The backswing time is approximately equal to 2.1 times the downswing to impact time. The downswing stroke has a constant rate of acceleration into impact. The stroke is smooth while this acceleration is happening into impact.
Some drills to practice your tempo would be to use a metronome. I would suggest setting what feels comfortable. Many good putters like between a 70 and 76 bpm. The tick occurs at the top of the backswing and the tock occurs at the top of the follow through. Keep this tempo for all length strokes. This method is fine but it is based on making a full swing (a full backswing and a full downswing). Diving further into the tempo though, we need the interval of the backswing to impact time to be ½ of the backswing time. While metronomes can assist in providing an audio cue for relevant parts of the stroke it is almost impossible to follow. The metronome can provide the audio cue for the beginning and end of the main parts of a putting stroke but doesn’t provide feedback during the in-between parts of the stroke.
The good news is that there is an app that will guide you through the putting stroke with a continuous audio feedback as well as a visual guide of a perfect putting stroke. I’ve been using it for several years and it is incredible how the numbers change on the SAM putt lab. The students have to train with the app for a long-term change. I have them do all of their drills while listening to the app. I will then test them again on the SAM putt lab without the app to see if the change is happening and that is the real sign that someone has made a change in their tempo.
There is an audio tone whose pitch rises on the backswing and falls on the downswing with a distinct impact chirp that indicates when impact should occur. The audio has a built-in swing ratio of 2.1. There are a variety of tempos, 82-129. People that swing the full clubs faster like a faster tone and the people that swing the clubs slower prefer a lower number.