The 6 Keys and Drills to Hitting Long Putts
The biggest difference between high handicappers and low handicappers in putting is a long putt. So if you were to improve you score, you need to work on your long putts.
On long putts, distance control is more important than hitting it on an intended line.
But most players struggle with distance control. Here is a good drill to gain feel for distance.
1) Set up to hit long putts
2) Hit putts with your eyes looking at the hole during the swing
When you throw something into trash box, you look at the trash box when throwing something to it.
But with putting, you keep your eyes on the ball and not look at the hole during the swing. That's because you are using putter instead of throwing it with your hand.
But not being able to look at the target might force you to focus on your swing (stroke) or line of a putt.
To regain feeling of distance, you should keep looking at the hole during the practice swing.
I usually use this drill before I tee off. It gives me good sense of distance control on the day.
Feel the Weight of Putter Head
This is one of the most important keys to good distance control. If you grip it too tightly, you won't feel the weight of your putter head.
Instead of holding it too tightly, you should grip it softly with your hands. This will let you feel the weight of putter head.
None of good putters hold on to the grip too tightly.
Holding the Grip too much in the palms
For putting, most teachers will tell you to hold your putter more in the palms of your hands.
This will limit the movement of your wrists and make the swing more consistent.
But if you feel like you can't lag it with this grip, try to hold it more in the fingers of your hands for more feel.
Also, you might want to try ten-finger grip.
Ten finger grip will give you extra feel.
Some golfers might do well with overlapping grip for putting as well.
Any grip is fine. But make sure you can feel the putter head and putter face with your grip.
The Drill for Distance Control
Another good drill for distance control is to putt with your eyes closed.
This is simple but very effective drill.
Just close your eyes and putt it. Before looking to see the ball, try to guess how far the ball went.
Control Distance with Your Right Hand?
Tiger Woods said he controls distance with his right hand. So he often hit putts with his right hand on practice.
I once saw his do this drill on the practice green. I saw him make lots of putts with his right only from more than 15 feet or so.
Take Advantage of Practice Swing
When putting, most of golfers take practice swings or strokes before putting.
To take advantage of your practice swings, hit your putt within 8 seconds after the practice swing.
If you take more than 8 seconds, you will lose the feel that you gained with you practice swing.
Especially for long putts, practice swing not only serves as a rehearsal but also gives you the sense of distance.
But if you take too much time, you'll start to lose what you gained from practice stroke.
- Fat Shots
- Fairway Woods
- Long Iron
- Short Iron
- Pull / Push
- Shots from Rough
- Fairway Bunker