It’s All About Speed
By Chris Foley
Each month in this column we have been sharing ideas to help improve your golf game without changing your golf swing. We talk about things like efficient practice methods, equipment, course management and new technology. By implementing our advice each month, you will see improvement in your game and lower scores.
There are three elements when looking at putting; direction, distance control, and green reading. Of the three, distance control is the most important. Having good distance control minimizes three putts and gives you a greater opportunity to hole makeable breaking putts.
For better distance control, try the following exercise.
- Place two coins or ball markers on the practice green approximately 18 inches apart. The markers create a zone where you are trying to stop the ball. The markers should be placed so that from one side the putt is uphill and from the other side the putt is downhill.
- Place a ball at one pace away from the zone on the uphill side and a ball one pace away on the downhill side of the zone. The objective is to putt each ball and have them stop inside of the zone. Alternate between hitting the uphill putt and the downhill putt.
- Move back one pace if both balls stop in the zone.
- Continue this process moving back one pace following having both balls stop in the zone.
- The exercise is completed when you have successfully had both balls stop in the zone from one, two, three, four and five paces on each side of the hole.
- Track how many putts it takes to complete the exercise.
To add an element of competition to this exercise, practice with a friend. Start at one pace with someone on each side of the zone. Each player hits a putt. If the putt ends in the zone the player receives a point. Switch sides and move back one pace. Continue this process moving back one pace after each player putts. The first player to get to five points wins. After the players putt from five paces, if neither player has scored five points move back to one pace away from the zone.
By utilizing this exercise your distance control will become more proficient, you will make more putts and will shot lower scores!