Golf Samurai Home > Short Game >

How to Control Distance or Pace with Your Putter

Amateurs usually struggle to control distance with their putter. The reason is obviously lack of practice. But even if you practice long putts over and over, you might still have problems with distance control.

Today, I'd like to share some tips to help you control distance with a putter.

Use Your Right Hand for More Feel

Tiger Woods said for right handed player, you have better feel in that hand than you do in your left hand. Therefore, you should control the pace of a putt with your right hand.

Controlling distance on the green is like rolling the ball toward the cup with your hand. You obviously will use your dominant hand when I ask you to roll the ball to the cup with your hand.

So I try to use my right hand for controlling distance on the greens because I get the better sense of distance with my right hand.

Lots of teachers teach their students to use their shoulders during the putting stroke for consistency.

By using your shoulders and moving them back and forth to hit the putt, you will get consistent putting stroke. But when you focus on your shoulders or the movement of your shoulders too much, you will lose the sense of distance or the feel.

For a better sense of distance, I think you should focus more on your right hand or fingers in your right hand.

When you hit a putt, try to focus on your right hand and the fingers of your right hand. Hitting putts with your right hand only is good practice to help you do just that.

Start from a Short Distance

When you think about practicing distance control, you probably start hitting long putts.

But I think you should start with a short distance instead.

Start with 3 feet from the cup. Usually, you will putt the ball with good speed from this distance. But I want you to putt it so that the ball just barely drops in the hole.

When you become confident from 3 feet, you should try from 4 feet, 5 feet, 6 feet and so on. But don't move on to the next until you become confident with the distance you are practicing.

This is good practice before you tee off as well. Before you tee off, you should go to the practice green and hit putts from 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet and so on.

This will give you much better results than just hitting long putts over and over.

Feel the Weight of the Ball

Some teachers might tell you to control distance by changing the length of your putting stroke.

For longer putts, you need to take a longer stroke. For short putts, you need much shorter stroke. With this method, you control distance by adjusting the length of your stroke.

This may work for some players, but the problem with this method is that the speed of the putter head may change depending on how fast you swing your putter head.

So I think that adjusting the length of your stroke to control distance with your putter is difficult for most players.

I would rather recommend that you try to feel the weight of the golf ball as you strike the ball.

I think that the feel is more important in putting than mechanics.

Related Posts

Faults and Fixes