Distance Control Putting Tips

Distance Control Putting Tips

Distance control when putting is a very important skill to master. Statistically speaking you won’t consistently hole putts outside the 8-10 foot range so you need to get your first putt as close as possible in order to avoid racking up too many three-putts and ruining your score.

I’ve put together some putting drills for distance control below for you to work on that should help you improve.

Drills And Tips For Distance Control

Striking The Sweet Spot With Your Putter

The “sweet spot” on a putter is the area on the face of the club where impact produces the best results. Hitting the sweet spot results in a smooth, accurate stroke with good distance control and accuracy. It’s going to be difficult for you to achieve consistent distance if you aren’t striking the sweet spot with a high degree of regularity.

Try to work on having a consistent setup that puts the ball and your body in the same position every time. Work on striking the ball out of the sweet spot by building a gate for the club head to travel through.

On the practice green find a nice straight putt. Place some tees on either side of your club head and then one or two more pairs to create a path for your putter to follow. Work on your stroke so that you are striking the ball from the sweet spot consistently with a square club face. This will make it much easier for you when it comes to judging how far the ball is going to travel.

Use A Pendulum Stroke

Creating a pendulum putting stroke is key for any golfer looking to improve their game. Using the shoulders to move the club rather than the wrists and arms will lead to more consistency particularly when you are under pressure to get the ball in the hole.

Quiet Wrist Usually Means More Success

Quiet wrists are key to sinking more putts. When the wrists are allowed to hinge and break during the putting stroke, it can cause the ball to veer off course. A simple drill to promote quiet wrists is to place a comb in the wristband of your watch to stop your wrist from breaking down during the stroke.

Your grip can also play a part in keeping your wrists inactive. Unlike the grip you would use for full shots you should grip a putter in the palms of your hands and this will help to keep your wrists out of the stroke.

On very long putts you will undoubtedly end up introducing some wrist break in order to generate enough power to get the ball to the hole but on short and medium putts you should really try to keep your wrists as quiet as possible.

Create An Upward Strike

When you are putting, you want to make sure that you hit the ball with the putter in a way that will make it roll smoothly across the putting green. Placing the ball slightly forward in your stance will encourage you to strike the ball on a slight upward stroke. This will help to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.

Swing Length Should Control Distance 

You want to improve your distance control with your putts. The length of your swing should control how far the ball will go. Try to work on

accelerating the putter consistently so that a longer backswing will naturally translate into a longer putt. Having a great tempo is a wonderful weapon on the golf course.

You could work on this in practice by placing tees behind the ball at different distances to see how far back you need to swing in order to produce a particular length of putt.

Practice With A Purpose

Spending hours working on your game with no goal in mind is probably going to be a waste of your efforts. Try to challenge yourself with little games where you try to beat your previous best scores in order to keep your mind sharp. Even better if you can challenge a friend as this will focus your attention!

Putting Distance Control Drills

This first exercise should help you work on your tempo and rhythm.

Place a tee next to your ball and one about 8 inches behind and 8 inches in front just outside your swing line. Work on stroking the ball so that your swing doesn’t go further back than the back tee or further forward than the front tee. This should help you feel more consistency in the speed of your stroke.

The Ladder Drill is one of the more common drills to work on to help your speed control on the greens.

Take five golf balls and place a club or alignment stick a yard past the hole. Going in the opposite direction place a ball every yard. Try to hole each putt. If you manage to hole it that counts as a birdie but if you leave the ball short or it hits the alignment stick then that counts as a bogey. If you get it past the hole but short of the alignment stick that counts as a par.

After those five putts, you would like to be shooting one under. If you want to put yourself under a bit more pressure or you regularly score well at those distances then try going for 2-yard or even 3-yard gaps between each putt.

Most other distance control drills are just variations on the ladder drill.

One thing I like to do before a competition round is to remove the hole from the equation. Either by placing tees at various distances and then randomly selecting one to put to or by trying to putt as close to the edge as possible without leaving the green.

Should I Have A Putting Lesson?

If you’re really struggling on the greens then it might be best to visit your local PGA pro who can eliminate any obvious issues with your setup or action. Practicing bad habits is not going to lower your scores or reduce the frustration of three-putting.

How Do I Determine Eye Dominance

Knowing which of your eyes is dominant can help with your putting although it’s more to do with lining up and where to position the ball. Although it could even affect the style of putter that will work best for you.

There are a few different ways that you can determine your putting eye dominance. The simplest involve sighting tests which are usually correct in determining which is your dominant eye.

One method is to hold up your thumb at arms length and line it up with a distant object such as a tree. If your thumb seems to partially disappear, don’t worry that is normal. Try closing each eye in turn. Whichever eye is open with your thumb still lined up with the object is your dominant eye.

Now you know which eye is dominant you can make sure your setup takes full advantage. Have a look at these tips for golfers with lead eye dominance.

Mark Crossfield on distance control

Distance Control Putting Tips: Summary

So first make sure you have a solid grip and setup so you can consistently strike the ball correctly then work on varying the length of backstroke you need in order to generate the length of putt you need. Don’t forget even the pros manage to 3-putt occasionally and they work on their games all day!

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