Usually but not always, the practice putting green will be

something similar to the greens on the course.

The same quickness, slowness break or borrow.

Therefore it is, in my opinion, essential to have a few puts, and even more than a few

puts before your round of golf.

Further to practising your putting, probably at least thirty six of

your strokes during a round are puts.

This number will decrease as your handicap drops.

The point is that puts constitute about one third of your total score.

Therefore it seems logical does it not,

to devote at least one third of your practice time to putting?

Now back to distance control.

Probably the most difficult method of hitting accurate puts up to

the hole and slightly beyond it is to hit the ball with different

degrees of firmness.

If you use this method, you will probably find

that your accuracy will vary from day to day and that your very

long puts just do not get to the hole or go too far past.

There is no real way that you can have an inbuilt gauge to hit the ball with

a firmness to send it a definite distance consistently.

The other way, and by far the better way, in my opinion is to

control your distance with length of backswing.

This means that you can develop a consistency of swing.

The swing speed can be made constant.

The short puts will reach the hole with no yip.

It is amazing how the mind can play tricks and make one

mishit a shot from a couple of feet.

With the required back swing and the normal club head speed, this is almost an impossibility.

Then what about those long puts.

All you have to do is know the length of back swing to make the ball travel the required distance.

Look at Tiger Woods.

Huge long puts, yet he leaves his ball beside

the hole (or in it) and he is seldom short or too far.

He has his back swing worked to the Nth degree and is so confident.

This comes with practice and all you have to do is have a look at

your back swing from the edge of the green along a flat surface and

see how the ball goes for different lengths of back swing.

When you are doing this, tell yourself that you are looking at back

swing first and then the resulting distance the ball will travel


Therefore, take your club back slowly and stop. Tell your

self that the backswing is four inches, then five, and then six and

so on.

When you take your club back, stop.

Have a look at the club head and see the distance it is from the ball.

Let it register in your mind.

Then hit the ball and measure the distance.

The forward stroke of the putter must be at the same speed every


This is not difficult and think about stroking the ball

rather than giving it a wrap.

So, if you are stroking the ball, the longer back swing will allow

the club head to gather momentum and so the ball will go further.

The value here is that you will always be consistent and will hit

the ball a given distance for a given back swing almost every time.

Then, all you have to do now is to allow for the slopes up and down

between your ball and the hole.

One very good method to put up and down slopes is not to think that

you have to hit the ball harder, which of course defeats the

argument of this discussion.

No, just put to a point beyond the hole for an up hill put and to a

point short of the hole for a down hill.

The slope in between will cause your ball to travel the correct distance to the hole.

This takes a little courage you will find.

It is a trick to hit the ball off the toe of the putter to make it

go slower when you want to hit a very delicate put down hill but

for the main, hit the ball from the sweet spot of your putter.

To find the sweet spot, bounce a golf ball onto the face of the

blade and find the spot where it is sweetest and does not tend to

turn the club in your hand.