Have you ever thought about the keys to becoming a good putter? Let’s face it, most of you probably don’t spend nearly as much time on the practice green as you do on the practice range. When you do go the practice green it’s important to practice properly. Putting comes down to two key elements: line and distance. When I watch players practice, I often see them working on their short putts. When I listen to players complain about their putting, I often hear them explaining that they don’t know how to properly read the greens. What I’d like to see players focus on, instead, is distance control. Every great putter has tremendous distance control. I like to have my players work on putts of 20-30 feet. The goal is to stop your ball within a 3-foot diameter around the hole. I’ll typically outline this with tees to make the image a bit clearer. Once the hole is outlined, it’s a great idea to putt from different areas on the green. This allows for you to practice putts that have a bit more break, as well as a change in speed. What about aim, you might ask? Most players tend to read too much break into their putts. Unless the break is obvious, practice distance control by assuming that the putt is going to be straight. If you notice that the putt is going to break one way or another, aim towards the proper side of the hole and continue to just focus on your distance control. For example, if the putt is clearly going to break to the right, just make sure you putt your ball to the left of the hole and focus on your distance. Most putting mistakes stem from poor distance control. It’s not uncommon to see a player miss a putt by a couple of feet to one side of the hole, yet the ball might roll ten feet past. Learn to roll your ball within a three foot diameter of the hole, and I assure you that your putting will improve.