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Question on Putting:

Putting is, by far the weakest part of my game.
I changed to a belly putter this year and improved on the short putts, but distance control is poor with the longer putts. With the pending ban on anchoring, I've switched back to a standard putter.
Can you give any advice on distance control when putting?
--Bill B. from Falling Waters, WV

Hi Bill,

Thanks for writing in to MyGolfInstructor.

There are many drills you can work on to improve your distance. For those I would refer you to the Putting Section on the site under Instruction where I have written up over 30 drills to improve your putting.

One thing I would recommend right off the bat though, is a metronome. You can easily download one for free if you have a smart phone. If not, you can find one at a local music store. To control your distance you must be in control of your tempo. If your tempo changes from day to day, green to green or even stroke to stroke, you will have a really tough time with touch. The average tempo among professionals is 84 bpm. I recommend that you start with that and if it feels too quick or too slow, then just adjust the metronome to what feels comfortable. You need to practice going back on the first beat and returning to impact on the second beat.

Once you have gotten consistent with your tempo, then next thing to work on is the length of your stroke. Often times I find that students take the club back way too short on long putts. The opposite is also true where they take it back way to long for a short putt. Sometimes it's hard to notice yourself that that's what you are doing. The Yardstick drill is great for developing awareness with the length of your stroke so definitely check that one out.

Work with a metronome and check out some of the distance drills under the putting section. Hopefully that will get you on your way to better putting. I might also recommend our DVD Putting Perfection where PGA Tour Veteran Jay Delsing and myself both share our view on principles such as distance control and tempo.

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