Being a great putter from a long distance is a skill definitely worth learning and developing. Putting well from long range whenever you are faced with this challenge out on the golf course, is the difference between shooting high or low scores.
o develop your ability to get the ball close, or even in the hole from distance, you initially want to break the putt down into smaller sections and deal with each section at a time. If you are faced with a forty foot putt, break it into four ten feet sections and deal with each one in turn.
As you walk up to the putt, get a general feel for the green and the slopes on the surface. Stand directly behind the golf ball and hole and crouch down to read the green in more detail. Look at what the slopes are like on the green during the first section of the putt. Is the surface tilting towards you, away, left or right. Decide what will happen to the ball as it travels through this section. Then move to the second section and do the same. Work out how the ball will be influenced by the surface as it rolls through that section. Do this for all the sections so you have a feel for whether the ball will move, left or right, speed up or slow down, through each section.
To link the sections together, work backwards from the hole, so begin with the section closest to the hole. Decide how the ball will move through that section and then decide where the ball needs to enter this section, to finish in the hole. Where the ball needs to enter this section of the putt is also where it needs to exit the section before it from. Now you know this, work back again and decide where the ball needs to be positioned entering section 3 for it to exit in the position you require. Keep doing this for each section so that you know where the ball needs to enter section two and this will allow you to decide the direction that you need to start the ball rolling in from section one.
Work on visualizing the movement of the ball through each of the section so that the line is continuous linked up for the ball to travel along and reach the target. When you then come to set up to play the putt, pick a target on this line to get the ball to in section one and then aim the putter face at this target. Work on setting the ball off at the correct speed, in that direction so that it reaches your target area in section one and then the rest of the golf ball’s journey should just follow on once you have started it.
To help with reading what happens through each section of the putt, work on the following drill. Crouch down behind the ball on a long putt and split the putt into however many sections you are comfortable with. Look at the surface and how it slopes through the first section, and then once you have an idea, simply roll the ball from your hand and watch how it reacts. Do this from different directions and on different slopes to gain experience of the slope gradients and how much influence it has on the roll of the ball. Do this uphill, downhill, across the hill, be creative. The more you practice this, the better and more accurate you will become and the closer you will be able to get the ball on long distance putts.