- Choose a long patch of carpet, or an open space on the practice green.
- Place five balls side by side with about five inches between each ball.
- Putt the first ball without a target or specific distance in mind.
- Immediately step to the next ball and stroke it without preparation or thought – try to hit it as close as possible to the first ball.
- Do the same thing for the remaining balls. The goal is to put them all within a three-foot circle.
- Repeat the drill, hitting the first ball a little farther this time.
- Next, try hitting each ball with your eyes closed. Don’t look up to see how far they roll. Only open your eyes to set up to the next ball, then close them and stroke it.
Anyone can get lucky and lag one or two long putts close to the hole. But doing it consistently requires a finely tuned feel for hitting the ball different distances.
After making their practice strokes, many golfers fail to reproduce the same length and tempo when hitting the actual putt. Some focus intently on how far they take the putter back – even watching it with their peripheral vision – and destroy all sense of rhythm.
This drill, which you can work on at home, is designed to increase your feel for how far the ball will roll based on your stroke:
Putting with your eyes closed is a great way to enhance your feel. You’ll also begin making better contact with open eyes – and consistently solid contact is a huge factor in controlling distance.