Golf Tips And Lessons

How to Sink Long Range Putts

Ask five seasoned golfers how to sink a long putt, and you will get five different answers. And that is the way it should be. No other shot in golf is as unique to the player as putting.

There are, however, some key elements to making a long range putt that apply to everyone. Let's look at a few of these elements and how we can put them to work for us.

For the purposes of this newsletter, a long putt is any putt that is over 15 feet from the hole. In real life, your putt may be well over 15 feet, but these tips will still work for you.

Read the Green

Reading the green is crucial for long putts. While there are many factors you have to consider, the direction of the grain of the grass is paramount.

If you are hitting with the grain, the ball will roll more quickly with less force from your putter. If you are putting against the grain, you may have to add a lot of power to the putt to get the ball to the hole or even close to the hole.

You must also look at the slope for putting. Are you putting uphill, downhill, or flat?

Make Up Your Mind

Before you dismiss this tip, stop and think about what it means. Many golfers, even the pros, will walk up to a long putt and their brain goes into overdrive. Should I try to hole it or should I lag it? Somewhere in all that mental mess the body becomes confused.

Your body must be in sync with your mind. Both must be on the same sheet of music or mishaps are certain. Before you take your putting stance, determine if you plan to sink it or lag it, and then stick to your plan, no matter what!

Smack It

More long putts are missed because of short distance than any other reason. The rule of thumb here is simple and applies to ALL putts, long and short: A ball cannot fall into the hole unless it reaches the hole.

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A great way to add distance to a long putt without ruining everything else in your putting routine is to take a longer backswing.

Hit It Square

Most golfers understand that they have to hit the ball harder for a longer putt, but they will often forget to keep the blade of the putter square on impact. The most common reason for this, believe it or not, is lifting the head too soon.

Keep the blade low during your backswing and fore-swing. Concentrate on hitting the ball square and do NOT move your head until well after you hit the ball.

Pick a Half-Way Spot

For extremely long putts, you may want to pick a spot that is about halfway between you and the hole and "visualize" what it would take to get to that spot and then double it.

Those who use this tip will often go to that halfway spot and take a few practice swings. Then they go back to their ball, knowing what half a putt will take and add that much more to their putt. This tip works best for determining distance.

Master Distance First

The best advice any golfer can give another golfer when it comes to long putts is to master distance control in golf. If you honestly think about it, nothing else matters if your distance is off. You can read the break and slope perfectly but if the ball is short or too long, what does it matter?

Master distance first and you will be well on your way to making those long range putts.

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