Distance control just isn’t sexy. When practicing your putting, you simply want to sink putts, right? You want to hear the sweet sound of the little white rock rattling around in the cup. So you focus solely on your line and you aim for the hole, and any miss is just another miss.
But then you get out on the course, and suddenly all misses are not created equal. Not only did you miss the hole, you just blew past it by six feet. Now you’re staring down the barrel of a three-putt. Suddenly, distance control sounds kind of sexy, eh?
To the rescue comes the following simple distance control drill kindly shared by Doug Dahle of the Old Pro Blog. Doug is an instructor and clubmaker, and he hung out with Dick DeLaCruz and other pioneers of the modern equipment industry back in the day. In 1999, Doug overcame a spinal tumor that nevertheless limited his mobility and thus his instructional career. Through his blog, however, Doug is once again able to pursue his passion for golf instruction.
Here is his drill:
“I have found that your average golfer tends to be obsessed with the line of the putt, much more than with distance. Quite a bit of this comes from watching golf on television and seeng the pros trying to line their putts up.
I use a simple drill for average golfers to get the feel for how hard to strike the putt. This can work from varying distances. Set up to strike the putt as you normally would. Look at the hole. Without looking back at the ball and concentrating on the hole, make your putting stroke. Try to “feel” the ball going to the hole. After a while, using this drill, you will start to create a circle around the hole that is much tighter than you have in the past.
Anyone can reasonably line up a putt to get it somewhat on line, but if it is 6 to 10 feet long or short, many shots are wasted. Use the drill until you can consistently roll putts into a three-foot circle around the hole and watch your score go down.”