Compared with the full golf swing, putting looks so simple. In fact, many beginners already have putting experience from playing miniature golf.
But once you’re on a real-life golf course, the putting green takes on a whole new dimension. The cup looks smaller, the slopes larger, the target a lot farther away. While beginners can typically aim their putts with reasonable accuracy, hitting the ball the right distance proves more challenging.
There’s no magic tip that will get you stroking every putt just right, but practicing and playing regularly will help you develop feel in relatively short order. As your stroke becomes more consistent, you’ll begin to sense how hard to hit the ball without having to think about the length of your back-stroke or other technical points.
Every time you practice, set aside at least 10-15 minutes for putting. Start from close range, within 2 feet of the cup, and work out from there. Most of your practice should be inside 10 feet. After that, move to 15 feet, then 20, 30 and 40.
From long range (15 feet or more), getting each putt close – within 2 or 3 feet – should be your primary goal. Don’t worry about making putts from this distance. Practice putting uphill, downhill and sidehill and you’ll learn to gauge the effect of slopes on the speed of your putts.
Here’s a drill that will help you hit putts the correct distances: A Simple Golf Drill to Improve Your Putting Feel