When it comes to solid, reliable putting, distance control is essential. Being able to putt on the target line
is good, too, but if the ball ends up three feet short or three feet long, well, you get the picture.
I will be sending you an in-depth newsletter on how to read the breaks on a green, but for today, I want to
concentrate on distance control by itself.
I truly believe that if you improve your ability to hit the ball the proper length, consistently, your putting
scores will decrease dramatically.
Distance control is based on two things: the length of the putt and the speed of the green. These will change
from one hole to the next, so being proficient in both is necessary.
Distance from ball to cup you already understand. You also understand that every hole will be different when it
comes to the distance you will have to putt. On some holes, you will have an easy one-footer. On other holes, you
may have a monster forty-foot putt.
Speed also changes from one green to another. Some of the issues you have to keep in mind when you are
considering the speed of a particular green include:
Wetness of the green: Dew, rain, and sprinkler water will cause the ball to roll slower, thus requiring more
power on impact.
Grass Length: The length of the grass on the green will also affect speed. Longer grass blades will slow the
ball. Grass Type: There are two dominant types of grass/turf used on putting greens in the US. They are bent grass
Bent is normally used wherever the average temperatures are moderate to cool. Bermuda grass is normally used in
and around tropical climates. For US golf courses, bent grass is used on 79 percent of the greens and Bermuda on 21
Bent grass is normally faster than Bermuda as it tends to lay flat while Bermuda will often stand straight
Grain of Grass: If you are putting against the grain of the grass, your putt will be slower. In some cases, much
slower! When putting with the grain, your putts will be faster.
Tips to Improve Distance Control:
1. You have heard this one before, but it must be said again--practice. Mastering distance is nearly impossible
without practice. When you practice for distance, concentrate less on holing the ball and focus on getting it to
the hole, or perhaps a couple of inches past the hole.
2. Move Around: When you practice for distance, make sure you practice from all sides of your practice hole.
Examine the green as you move, determine the grain of the grass, and adjust your putt to match it.
3. Less Hand Action: Many golfers want to use hand and wrist action as their guide to distance. Avoid doing that
and instead use the length of your putting stroke to adjust for distance. Use a longer stroke for longer putts.
Your hands and wrists should remain stable and set, all the way through the stroke.
4. Constant Golf Swing Speed:
Some golfers will make the mistake of thinking if they swing faster the ball will go farther. Well, that may be
true, but it is not the best way to control distance. Instead, use your same swing tempo but adjust the length of
your swing, as mentioned above.
5. Follow Through: Your follow through should be about the same length as your golf backswing. Keep your head down until you have finished the complete follow
through with the putter.
You can learn distance control if you practice, and once you do, your putting successes will be noticeable. Work
on it. It is time well spent.
If you missed my email a few days ago, I told you about a great guide that will help improve all aspects of your
golf game. Check it out:
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general informational use only.
Although every attempt has been made to make information as accurate as possible, we are not responsible for any
errors that may appear.