Brad Faxon has forgotten more about golf than the rest of us will ever know, and thankfully, he’s never shy about dispensing his lifelong knowledge on social media.
A big theme in Faxon’s advice to golfers, looking to learn from him to improve putting, is to dial in their feels by hitting a variety of different putts. Practise the same putt hard and soft. Practise hitting the same length putt across different slopes. All manner of variations that will, before long, connect your brain with your hands and putter.
Then, occasionally, he’ll drop a pop quiz on you!
In his most recent Instagram post, the PGA Tour legend dropped what he called a “putting IQ” test. It’s pretty simple, and you can even take it yourself if you want.
Faxon’s Test Question
Imagine two 10 foot putts, one directly downhill and the other directly uphill. The question you need to answer is which of these two putts will come to a complete stop first.
“I ask this question to tour players, world-class amateurs, and the members I teach,” he said.
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It shows Faxon’s level of intelligence that he thinks of putting with this level of detail, and the answer reveals why.
Even though the downhill putt is faster — and requires you to hit the putt softer because of it — it’s the uphill putt that will come to rest first. Why? Because even though you’ll hit the uphill putt firmer, meaning it’ll travel faster, and then it’ll come to a more sudden stop because it’s working against gravity.
On the downhill putt, it’s the opposite. The softer putt travels more slowly down the hill, and keeps trickling to its eventual conclusion. Knowing this will help you understand how slopes influence the golf ball, and dial-in your speed control because of it.