Tip of the month: Putting distance control

Controlling the distance of your putts is routine based and is controlled with your eyes.

A good pre-shot routine will help you have a firm understanding of where you want the ball to go.

Distance and direction are the two keys to putting. If you have the right line and understand it’s going to break and how it’s going to roll, then it’s very easy for you to see how to dictate the speed.

So many people take strokes on the side, walk into the target and look at the hole a little bit. Instead, stand behind the target, look at where you want it to go and really focus your eyes. Automatically your speed and control improves.

When you see the way to the hole, you begin to feel the stroke. The more you keep your eyes fixed to the target, the more your body is naturally going to feel the correct stroke and speed.

The length of your stroke determines the distance too obviously, but the more you think about your stroke and worry about technique, the less you are going to have control over your distance.

At the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, we train technique from four to six feet, but on long putts we putt to a circle and just focus on putting to our breaking point.

My advice to players looking to improve their distance control would be to use a practice putting disc and focus on putting to their target. This eliminates thinking about technique and will have you thinking more about hitting your target. You will then be able to control your distance and build confidence in the process.

Doing a good job during your pre-shot routine, especially with longer distanced putts, will have you truly committed and that means a confident stroke.

You will then stand over the putt and you’re not thinking, “I hope it doesn’t go short or long,” but instead you see where you want it to go, give it complete trust and hit it.

Just remember, when you’re comfortable and committed, you will be confident. And that will allow you to be effective with controlling your putting distance.