WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO GOOD DISTANCE CONTROL IN PUTTING?
Two keys to great distance control in putting are keeping a pendulum count (rhythm) in your stroke from all distances and learning to clear your mind of unimportant distractions.
Josh Zander - Class A PGA Professional and Voted Top 100 Teachers in America by Golf Magazine shares a great lesson on putting distance control. There are all kinds of putting styles, putting methods, putter types, but one thing all great putters have in common is great distance control. The first key concept for learning great distance control in putting is developing a pendulum rhythm.
You can see a pendulum motion in action by simply holding a putter tightly in your fingertips and swinging it back and forth. You will notice that the putter will swing with a rhythm or cadence. When you swing the putter back and through it takes the same amount of time whether you make it a big swing or a smaller swing. So, if you can count one, two during your swing - you can just adjust the length of your stroke to hit the ball different distances. To demonstrate this concept in action, we can putt three different distances using greater backstroke lengths, but every putt will take the same amount of time and they're all going to have that the same exact one - two rhythm. Start with a short putt, then a medium putt and then long putt. Notice the balls went three different distances but they all had the exact same time or rhythm in the stroke.
Because it's a bit difficult to go from a static motion into a perfect one-two tempo it can be very helpful to use a metronome. You can download a metronome to any smartphone. Start by setting it to 72 beats a minute. Now with the metronome timing you're going to putt to that beat. Next, use a 5 count. So, kind of like musicians, they don't all start right away - the drummer usually that sets the five-six- seven count and then they all go. So, we'll still use our one-two tempo, but we're going to do it in a five count. Our five counts will be as follows: One - you're going to look at the ball, Two - you're going to look at your target, three back at the ball, four is going to be the backswing and five is going to be the strike.
Eliminate All Distractions - Pay Attention
Great distance control is all about paying attention. Great players will glare down at that hole and only glance at the ball. Amateurs will glare at the ball and just glance at the hole. Take a mental picture of the shot. Your eyes are kind of the camera. Your eyes will tell you how far that hole is. Use your practice strokes looking at the hole getting a feel for how far away that hole is. Now trusting your eyes and your practice stroke, go into your five counts.
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