How to Putt Long Distance on a Slope
It is no secret that there are some shots in golf that are more difficult than others. A long range putt is one. A sloped putt is another. When you combine the two,
well, you often have a big challenge that results in a three-putt (or worse).
To suggest that mastering long, sloped putts is easy would be misleading and false. These putts are difficult,
even for the pros. But you are not defenseless. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you are faced with
these monster putts.
The Steep Sloping Putt:
A steeply sloped putt, whether it is uphill or downhill, requires that you concentrate on the speed of the ball
more so than the line. This does not mean you can ignore the line, but if the speed is off, line will not matter
A good tip is to first determine how much speed the ball will need to get up or down the slope, and then
concentrate on the line. For severely sloped putts, consider two-putting as a very viable option.
The Straight Uphill Long Putt: Because you have a long distance from ball to cup, it is, again, vital that you
concentrate on hitting the ball hard enough to get it up the hill and to the hole. With this type of putt, do not
be afraid to hit the ball firmly. Remember, it is better to have the ball go past the hole than it is to have it
die halfway up and then roll back down to your feet.
The Straight Downhill Long Putt: Getting the right speed on these putts is critical. As you do your putt
preview, determine the grain of the grass. Are you putting with the grain, against it, are sideways? This
information is often vital in determining how hard to hit the ball.
For extremely long downhill putts, try to find a spot between you and the hole that is on-line with your
intended putt. Aim at this spot and let the slope carry the ball to the hole.
Long Putting Across Slope: These putts are tricky. Visualize the ball running along the line and the slope in
such a way that the ball falls into the hole from the topside of the cup, at almost 90 degrees.
If you aim for dead center of the cup, you will most likely miss the hole on the low side.
Depending on the distance to the hole and the degree of slope, it is often wise to consider two-putting. This
means getting the ball to within a reasonable distance to the hole for a easier putt into the hole.
One common mistake is to hit the ball too softly. Avoid this as it only results in having to make this same
difficult shot again, only from less distance.
The Long Combination Putt: These are putts that are long, cut across a slope, and are either uphill or downhill
to boot. They can be nightmares.
A good tip for these putts is to always remember that the slower the ball is moving, the more it will break. A
ball that is going downhill will break more than one that is going uphill, usually. Keep that tip in mind as you
determine your line on this type of putt.
The good news about long, sloped putts is that the more you practice them, the better you will become at making
them. Spend time on the practice green learning to read the grain, the slopes, and the especially learning distance
control with your putter.
For a comprehensive guide to putting, there is a great ebook available that teaches putting with the
understanding that it is all about "The right pace on the right line". Check it out: