Golf Tips

Distance Before Direction

Most amateur golfers misread the distance of a putt by at least 25%. In order to check how much you are under reading distances, stand behind your ball on a 25 foot putt, look at the hole then close your eyes and point to where you believe the hole is. Open your eyes, most likely you will be pointing at a spot 5 feet short of the hole. Repeat until you are able to point at the hole.

Next, read the speed of a putt from the side. Point your putter at the ball and swing it to the hole. Repeat several times until you are able to create the same rhythm. This is the speed of the putt stroke you will need for that distance.

The last step is to read the break of a putt from behind the hole. Most amateur golfers under the break of a putt by over 50%. For that reason, many subscribe to the strategy of doubling the break of the putt. Instead, I recommend walking behind the hole and visualize the path the ball will take to the hole. The most important part of the distance is the last 3 feet. As a ball slows down, gravity has more time for the ball to break.

Drill: Your rear arm is your power arm and controls the speed of the putt for distance. Practice putting from the middle of the green to the fringe with your rear arm only to develop distance control. Putt to the 1 o'clock position first then 2 o'clock and so forth until you complete the circle. Finish the drill by putting back to the middle of the green from the fringe. Repeat the drill at least 5 times and you will begin to develop distance control.