Out of the bunker: It’s all about distance control

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Putting comes down to two things.  Line and Distance.

With the proper line and the proper distance, you are likely to make nearly any putt you strike.

However, for those of you who play regularly, you realize that putting is not quite that easy. It’s one thing to read the green correctly and choose the proper line, but it’s an entirely different challenge to strike a putt with the proper distance.

Great putters have great distance control. All you must do is watch any tour event on television and you’ll notice the amazing distance control these players possess. This distance control is far more important than having the perfect line on your putt.

One of the most common flaws I see in most amateur golfers is their inability to roll their putts the proper distance. Sure, they may have misread their putt by a couple of feet.  However, their distance may be off by as much as ten feet, or more.  But how can this be fixed?

The nice thing about working on distance control on your putts is that it just requires a bit of creativity.  For example, rather than putting directly to some random hole on the putting green, it’s a great idea to try putting your ball to the edge of the green and seeing how close you can get your ball to stop to that edge.

This is a great exercise because it gets you focused on nothing more than the distance your ball is rolling.  If you can spend five minutes practicing this way each day you are at the golf course, I guarantee that your distance control will be vastly improved.

Another great exercise is to roll the ball across the putting green with your hand.  Once the ball stops, try rolling a ball with your putter to that same spot.  You should attempt to swing your putter with the same rhythm that you swung your arm while you rolled the ball with your hand.

The next time you play a round of golf, I’d like for you to spend more time focusing on the distance control on your putts, rather than focusing so much on your exact aim.  The better your distance control, the shorter your second putts will become.

This will not only take a lot of stress off of those second putts, but it will make the game a lot more fun, too.


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