How to Improve Putting Touch in Golf

By Michael Joseph

Touch in golf is not a fundamental that can be taught. Touch is acquired through experience and practice. In putting, touch is related to distance control. You need to be able to lag a 30-foot putt within a couple of feet for a sure tap-in.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Place a tee or another mark 2 feet from the fringe on the edge of the green. From varying lengths (5, 10, 15, 20 feet), putt balls so that they come to rest between the mark and the fringe. Do not move on to the next length putt until you successfully complete three putts. Repeat the drill on different sides of the green so you will have uphill and downhill putts.
Step 2
Practice putting lag putts of significant distance and break without reading the break first. This drill will only work if you continually change positions so you do not learn the break. Gradually, your initial putts will become closer and closer to the hole.
Step 3
Place tees in the ground 3, 6 and 9 feet from the cup. Do this on all four sides of the cup. Make three putts consecutively from 3 feet before moving to 6 feet. Make three more before moving to 9 feet. If you miss a putt then you start back at the beginning. Repeat this drill on all sides of the cup for varying breaks and speeds.
Step 4
From one spot, drop three golf balls. Putt to any position you feel like, about 8 to 9 feet away, but not toward a hole. Staying in the same spot, putt the next ball so it comes to rest 3 feet past the first ball. Putt the third ball so it comes to rest 3 feet past the second ball. This ladder drill is difficult and can be made more challenging by adding a fourth ball. Continue until you are able to complete the ladder multiple times.
Step 5
Practice putting one handed to greatly improve touch. At first your stroke will feel unnatural. You will improve dexterity by isolating one arm. The other arm is forced to make the necessary changes to correct the stroke. Creating muscle memory is important to a repeatable putting stroke. One-handed putting speeds up the process of ingraining that muscle memory in your stroke.

Tips & Warnings

Tiger Woods putts 6-footers one-handed as part of his practice.

About The Author

Michael Joseph is a golf industry professional in New Jersey. He has worked as a golf professional, instructor, and clubmaker. Joseph's education includes a degree in golf operations management and a certification in club-fitting from The Golf Academy of America (formally the San Diego Golf Academy). Joseph shares his golf experience and knowledge with others by writing articles for Demand Media Studios and


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