Putting for Distance Control

FaldoDolengowski-Headshot_1By Dave Dolengowski, Senior Golf Instructor
Marriott Golf Academy

Dedicating time in your practice to improve your distance and speed control is crucial to help you achieve your goal of lowering your putt count. It is very seldom I see a student miss the direction of a putt by 5 feet left or right of the hole, but what I do see often is a 5 foot miss, short or long of the hole. Your goal, regardless of the length of putt, should be to visualize the putt going into the hole… but optimal speed control is first priority.

Sir Nick Faldo taught me that the ideal speed that holds its line the best, would be one that would send the ball past the hole about 18 inches to 2 feet if the ball did not go in. The following are two great drills to help you sharpen this skill and get your mind in a different place.

3 Ball Drill

Set-up
Place a tee peg at 15, 30, and 45 feet from the hole. Place 3 balls at each station. Also, place a club on the ground at 2 ft behind the hole.

 

FaldoPuttDistance1 (1)

The goal is to roll three consecutive balls to the hole, or just past
the hole, without hitting the club behind the hole or coming up short
of the hole.
FaldoPuttDistance2
FaldoPuttDistance3 If you miss one of the three, when you set back up, you must stay at 15 feet.

Goal

If you get all three between the hole and club, you can graduate to the next distance of 30 feet and so forth. If you miss all three at that distance, you must go back to the previous distance.

Have fun and be patient with this drill, it’s not as easy at it looks. But I will guarantee that you will start getting your putts to end up closer to the hole.

Ladder Drill

Set-up
Lay out a line of balls over a distance of 20 or 40 feet. Place them at intervals of 2 or 3 feet, a ladder of balls.
FaldoPuttDistance4Goal
Start at the shortest putt, work your way up the steps of the ladder. Your goal is to get your mind to be more ‘feel’ conscious then ‘technique’ conscious. Watch how each putt reacts and rolls across the green, and subsequent putts are made with the benefit of that feedback. This is a great drill to implement in a warm-up session before a round of golf to get the feel of the pace of the greens. Explore, discover, and learn
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