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Speed Trap


I read your putting tip on ball speed and as an 'old timer' I remember Harvey Penick saying that 'the hole is bigger if the ball is moving slowly'.

One can easily see what he means by that.

So combining 'The Little Red Book' author's wisdom with yours I have come to the conclusion that the ideal speed would make the ball clear the front lip of the cup but not hit the back lip. That would have you avoiding the 'never up, never in' to which you refer and 'expand' the hole a wee bit.

Your Frankly Friend,

– Dennis


Regarding the recent putting tip “Don’t try to 'die' the ball into the hole”, you will not sink about 50 percent of your putts simply because there is a tolerance in your distance control when you try to stop the ball on the edge of the hole. You should also recognize that a lot of the break – if you have a breaking putt – happens at the end of the putt when the ball is moving very slowly.

Therefore, to sink more putts hit the ball hard enough to hit the back wall of the cup and not the back lip.

You must also have a putter which is forgiving and in which you have a great deal of confidence.

Dennis, have fun, life is not worth much otherwise.

– Frank

Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf. Thomas is chief technical advisor to He served as technical director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN system and introduced the Stimpmeter. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email