HOW DO I GET BETTER AT DISTANCE CONTROL IN PUTTING?
The best way to get better at distance control in putting is by practicing hitting putts to specific distances (clearly marked off on the green) up and down ladders.
There are two essential ingredients in good putting: direction and distance control. Unfortunately, poor distance control skills tend to be the most significant source of three-putting. The math is quite simple: cut just one putting stroke from each hole, and you have the potential to lower your golf scores by a whopping 18 strokes. Learning to get your ball within three feet of the cup (the circle of love) at least one stroke faster is critical. Most golfers' putting accuracy from within three feet of the cup will soar to over 70%. Top golfers will exceed 95% accuracy within three feet of the hole. Unfortunately, amateur or club golfers often struggle to place the golf ball inside of the circle of friendship because they don't adequately practice putting distance control.
In this lesson, Director of Golf Scott Bunker shares a simple but highly effective drill that focuses on developing excellent putting distance control by working in and out of a ladder of distances.
The Ladder Drill
The key is taking the time to put out alignment stick training aids to specific distances at 10, 20 and 30 feet. Some of you think - I have no idea how big a stroke i need to make for these distances?
Do not concern yourself with holing putts but put some pressure on yourself to stroke these putts to within 12 - 17 inches of these alignment sticks. Take one rehearsal stroke where you estimate the backstroke and pace you will need to hit your shot within 12 - 17 inches of the alignment stick. Use the feedback you receive on your shot to help you "triangulate" to the proper backstroke and pace on subsequent shots. If you come up short, you will obviously need to increase your backstroke. If you come up too long, you will need to shorten your backstroke. Remember, the absolute goal is to putt each shot within 12 to 17 inches of each alignment stick, because this dramatically increases your odds of holing your next putt. When you are consistently able to stroke your lag putts into the circle of love, this will translate to lower golf scores as your next putt will be a very high probability putt. You can turn it into a mini game simply by pressuring yourself to make 10 putts in a row within that 12 to 17 inches or circle of love.
Scott Bunker, Director of GolfClass A PGA Member Scott Bunker is Director of Golf at Red Mountain Ranch Country Club. Scott was again recognized by Golf Digest as a Top 10 Instructor in Arizona. He has been on their list every year since 2000. Scott was named Teacher of the Year by the Southwest PGA in 2000. He was previously Director of Instruction with the John Jacob's Golf Schools, starting his golf teaching career there in 1979.
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