How to Control Distance on Putts

By Contributing Writer

Successful putting requires a confident stroke control aligned with a confident demeanor. Maintaining a cool head on the greens will help a high handicapper lower his scores. It may also help a scratch golfer become a potential PGA Tour rookie. However, every putt creates its special problems, and only practice and the ability to learn from mistakes will enable you to conquer greens.


Difficulty: Easy
Step 1
Develop a pre-shot routine that includes two or three practice swings that resemble the amount of effort you feel is necessary to make the perfect putt. Low-handicap players realize sticking to a routine is necessary for making consistent strokes and avoiding unnecessary work on the greens.
Step 2
Use your putters or golf balls if they have alignment aids. Anything that will help your aim on the green is a bonus and should be utilized.
Step 3
Start to relax. If your stroke is tense, you will choke the putter. Eventually, you'll lose the basics of putting. It should be a smooth, steady stroke into the ball. To release tension, concentrate on feeling the weight of the club head. This will ensure better speed and direction.
Step 4
Take advantage of your time on the practice putting green. Most amateurs will find themselves 15 to 20 feet from the pins during their rounds. Concentrate on that distance, and you'll be in good shape. Once you get the feel of 20 feet and closer, your confidence will soar.
Step 5
Keep your equipment up-to-date. Could it be time to change your grip or your putter? There's nothing worse than the yips. A new grip or club may create a new focus by taking your mind off the stroke itself. If your comfortable with the changes--and you can avoid the dreaded three-putt--you've found a winning combination on the greens.

Tips & Warnings

If your putting last in a foursome, try and read what line your partners take. Use their mistakes to your advantage.
Don't waste your time on the putting green by practicing 30-foot or longer putts.

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