how to putt from a long distance 2

Here's a stat to keep in mind the next time you three-putt from long range: From beyond 25 feet, the average PGA Tour pro three-putts about 10 percent of the time.

In other words, putting from long distance is hard. So keep your expectations reasonable any time you're staring at a 50-footer.

Should you simply resign yourself to three-putting in these situations? No way. You've still got a better chance to get down in two than you would from a bunker or thick rough. Your odds increase dramatically if you can get your first putt (the lag) inside five feet, which means speed – not line – is the key to successful long putting.

So, how do you correctly judge the speed from so far away? It's more art than science, but here are a few tips:

  • Practice long putts: Devote at least five minutes of your between-round practice sessions to putting from outside 30 feet. You'll develop the rhythmic stroke needed on long-distance attempts and gain a sense for how lengthy putts break.
  • Be sure to spend a few minutes on the practice green before each round, too. While short putts should be your primary focus, stroking a few from long range will make you more comfortable on the course.
  • Read the green from the halfway point: Often, long putts will travel both uphill and downhill en route to the cup. Slope differences aren't always obvious looking from your ball to the hole, so pick halfway point, crouch down and read your putt from the side (looking at the line from a 90° angle). You'll be better able to divine any variations in slope.
  • Putt into a large circle: Perhaps the oldest trick in the lag-putting book is to imagine a circle around the hole, six feet in diameter (three feet from the cup to the circle's edge).how to putt from a long distance 4 Rather than trying to make the putt, you merely want to get the ball inside the circle. This visual cue gives you a much larger target than the cup itself, relieving pressure and providing a more realistic goal.
  • On extra-long putts, 50 feet or more, expand the circle to 10 feet across. Anything within this range still leaves you with a makeable second attempt.
  • While this method has a long list of advocates, others believe you should try to hole every putt including very long ones.
  • Get to know the greens: Your best weapon on long putts is familiarity. If you play the same course or a couple of different ones frequently, make mental notes about the greens during each round. Any time a putt breaks opposite to the direction you expect, study the contours as you walk off the green. More than likely, you'll spot something – a slope coming off the edge of a bunker, or a small but significant hump or ripple – that influenced the putt. File the info for future use.

How to Putt from Long Distance

How to Putt from Long Distance

When you think about a challenging shot on the golf course, what do you picture? Perhaps a long iron shot over a pond, or maybe a tee shot with out-of-bounds stakes guarding the right side of the hole? Those are obvious challenges, and there is a good chance that you will wind up with a penalty stroke if you fail to execute the shot correctly. However, not all challenging shots in golf are so obviously intimidating. The long putt is a good example of this concept. A long putt from the other side of the green might not look that scary, but it can quickly lead to a three-putt and a bogey if you aren't careful.

In this article, we are going to offer advice on how to putt from long range. The goal on these kinds of putts is not actually to make the putt, but just to get close enough to the hole so you can tap in the next putt with ease. Of course, you won't mind if a long distance putt falls in from time to time, but that isn't going to happen often enough to consider as a real possibility. Your focus should be on getting the speed right, leaving the ball near the hole, and tapping the next one in for a solid two-putt.

There are a few different skills which need to come together in order to putt well from across the green. You need to have a good feel for your putting stroke, you need to make a good read, and you need to strike the ball cleanly on the center of the putter. Also, you will have to control your nerves and remain relaxed throughout the stroke. When everything does come together just right and you hit a great putt, there are few feelings better than watching the ball slowly creep all the way across the green before coming to rest in a perfect spot for a tap-in. Many golfers love the look of a 300+ yard drive sailing through the air, but we would argue that a perfect putt from long distance is just as pretty.

If you would like to perform better from long distance, you are going to have to practice this skill. You can't just read an article online and expect to immediately hit better putts – we are going to provide you with some valuable advice, but it's up to you to put that advice into action. Don't just stop at the practice putting green to hit a few three-footers before walking to the first tee. Invest some effort in learning how to putt well from long distance and your reward will be lower scores at the end of your rounds.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Basic Technical Keys

Basic Technical Keys

There is no need to make long distance putting a complicated task. Hitting a solid putt is actually pretty simple, which is not the same thing as being easy. It is simple because you don't need to use any complicated techniques or methods. Just stick with the basics and you will be in good shape. Even those basic techniques can be difficult to execute, however, which is why practice is so important.

The list below contains the important keys you need to keep in mind when hitting a long putt. Some of these keys are going to apply to any putt you hit from any distance, while others are specific to putting from long range.

  • Stand tall. One of the biggest differences between a short putt and a long putt is the stance you should use for the stroke. When putting from close range, you can get down into your stance, flexing your knees significantly and tilting your upper body out over the ball. For most players, this is the most comfortable way to putt. When farther away, however, the story changes. You will want to stand up taller in order to make it easier to swing the putter back and through. You are going to need a big stroke to hit a good putt from long distance, and that big stroke is going to be tough to achieve unless you are standing up tall. There should still be some flex in your knees, but your feet should be closer together and your upper body should be more upright.
  • Keep your head steady. You probably expect this point to be on the list, as this is a standard tip no matter what kind of putt is at hand. Just as it is important to keep your head still on short putts, it is important to do the same when you are farther back. Keeping your head steady throughout the stroke will make it easier to strike the ball on the sweet spot of the putter – which is exactly what you need to do if you are going to roll the ball the right distance. There is nothing gained by looking up early while making the stroke, so don't fall for that temptation. Hold your head still, send the ball on its way, and look up only when the ball is long gone.
  • Relaxed grip pressure. This just might be the most important tip of all for players trying to improve on their long range putting touch. Since you are facing a long putt, your natural reaction may be to tighten up your grip on the putter in order to force the ball across the green. That might be the natural response, but it is also the wrong one. You need to keep your hands relaxed and free on the grip of the putter so the club can swing smoothly back and through. Hold on just tight enough to maintain control of the club, and no tighter. You should always have your hands relaxed on the grip when putting, but double check on this point when getting ready for a long putt to make sure you haven't subconsciously tightened things up.
  • Use plenty of backswing. This last tip is a bit of a changeup from what you might be used to when putting from shorter range. On a short putt, you want to make sure that your backstroke doesn't get too long because that can cause you to decelerate on the way through. However, on a long putt, making a long backstroke is actually a good thing. If you were to cut your backstroke short, you'd have to quickly accelerate the putter on the way through – and you might not make solid contact as a result. Even if you do hit the ball cleanly, it is hard to control your distance with this type of motion. Instead, use a long backswing and let the putt smoothly glide through impact. Once you get the hang of this type of putting stroke, you will gain confidence in it and your ability to roll the ball the right speed will improve.

The list above proves the point that you don't need to do anything complicated in order to hit solid putts from long distance. By standing a bit taller, using a relaxed grip, holding your head steady, and making a long backstroke, you can strike the ball nicely time after time. Hitting on all of these points isn't necessarily going to make your long putts easy, but it will give you a better chance for success.

The Strategy of the Long Putt

The Strategy of the Long Putt

As is the case with all shots you play on the golf course, there are two components to a long putt. First, you have to have the physical fundamentals in place – and we dealt with those above. Next, you have to have a plan for how you are going to get the ball from its current location to a location near your target. This is the half of the equation that most people simply ignore.

If you are going to consistently two putt from the other side of the green, you need to have a plan. And no, simply saying that you are trying to roll the ball 'close to the hole' does not count as a plan. You need to read your putt accurately, you need to figure out exactly where you are going to aim and how hard you need to hit the ball, and then you need to make it happen.

To help you develop a successful plan for each of your long putts, we have provided some tips below.

  • Read the end of the putt first. The ground around the hole is the most important part of the putt to read, so head up there and do that work first. The ball slows down as it reaches the hole, obviously, and it is going to take more of the break the slower it is moving. So, you need to give the most 'respect' to the ground around the hole, as it is going to have the biggest impact on your putt. The slope of the ground at the start of the putt still matters to a degree, but it is not as important. Take a quick walk up to the hole to analyze the slope of the ground and you will have gained a valuable piece of information that can go into your final putting plan.
  • Play more break than you see. It is common for amateur golfers to fail to play enough break. Even if you read the slope the correct way – meaning you figure out which way the ball is going to turn – you still won't give it enough room to break in all likelihood. Consider adding at least a few extra inches of break to your long putts when selecting a line – this is a good rule of thumb that will help you avoid making a big mistake with your read. A putt on the high side will continue to get closer to the hole as it slows down – a putt on the low side is only going to get farther and farther away.
  • Long or short? Ideally, you would be able to roll the ball perfectly up to the hole each time, always using exactly the right amount of pace for the putt. Of course, golf isn't that easy, and you are never going to be that consistent. Even the best players in the world don't putt the ball with such consistency. Knowing you aren't perfect, one of the choices to make before you hit a long putt is to decide whether you would rather be long or short. In most cases, it will be far better to be either long or short of the hole, depending on the topography of the green. For instance, if the greens falls off shortly after the hole, you will need to play short for safety. Or, if there is a dramatic break short of the hole, you will want to at least run past by a couple feet so you can set up a shorter second putt. Decide where you would like to be after the first putt – assuming you don't make it – and then plan your speed accordingly.

Making strategic decisions is one of the most important skills you can have while playing golf. The average amateur player obsesses about things like swing technique and equipment, but it is really strategy which has the biggest potential to help you improve. Think through all of your long putts carefully – using the three points above to help you get started – and you should see your results improve.

How to Practice

How to Practice

By this point, you should have a pretty clear understanding of the physical and mental sides of the long putt. Now, you need to get out there and practice. But how do you practice this kind of putt? Many golfers are lost when you tell them to head out and work on their lag putting. To make sure you know what you are doing, we have provided a list of handy tips below.

  • Find some room. This might actually be the hardest part of the process. When you want to work on your long putts, you need to find some space on the practice green to do so. If you are practicing at a crowded golf course on a sunny weekend day, finding some space may be tricky. Look to the sides of the putting green where you may be able to roll some long putts along the edges. You don't necessarily have to have a hole to aim at – you can always just stick a tee in the ground on the other side of the green to use as a target. Of course, you should always be considerate of other golfers and avoid putting across the path they are using to work on their own game.
  • Distance, distance, distance. Yes, you want to learn how to get your long putts on line, but these practice sessions are really about distance. If you can control your long putts properly from a distance perspective, you will be in excellent shape. Even if you get the read wrong, you still won't be far from the hole if you have the speed dialed in perfectly. Pay close attention to how you are faring with your practice putts and make any adjustments to your speed as necessary. Hitting a series of long putts is a great thing to do before walking to the first tee, as this will help you dial in the speed of the greens for the day.
  • Take your time and watch the ball roll. You might feel like just firing off one putt after the next in order to move your practice session right along. While that might be efficient, it isn't going to be very effective. When you strike each putt, take your time and watch it roll out all the way to its conclusion. Was the putt a success? What did you do right, and what went wrong? Evaluate each putt before moving on to the next. You will hit fewer total putts with this type of practice, but the putts you do hit will be far more beneficial.
  • Find a variety of slopes. If possible, find a variety of different slopes on the practice green in order to test your skills in a number of ways. Putt uphill, downhill, and across slopes which break to the left and the right. You never know what kind of challenge you are going to encounter on the golf course, so it only makes sense to prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible for what you will find during your rounds.

To make it easier to get a great putting workout in, consider trying to visit your local golf course during a quiet time of the week. Without a crowd of people on the green, you should be able to hit as many long putts as you like in a number of different directions. You might find that you actually like this kind of practice, and you will feel a great deal of added confidence during your next round when your first long putt comes up.

Finishing the Job

Finishing the Job

So, you have successfully hit a quality long putt from the other side of the green, and you now have just three feet to finish off your two-putt par. There is nothing left to worry about, right? Not so fast. While you have done a good job with the first half of the equation, you still need to finish the deal. If you wind up missing the short putt, the quality long putt will have been completely wasted. Make sure you do everything you can to sink this short putt so you can walk off the green with a satisfying two-putt from long distance.

One of the biggest keys to making your short putts is actually the same as one of our long putting keys – holding your head steady. You need to be particularly stable on short putts so you can hit your target line time after time. Slightly missing your line from short range can result quickly in a miss – and missing short putts is about as frustrating as this game can be. Teach yourself to hold your head steady and swing the club accurately down the target line over and over again.

Another key to making your short putts is to resist the temptation to smash them into the back of the cup. Some amateur golfers think this is the right way to go when putting from short range, but we would like to argue that point. Instead of using aggressive speed – which could result in a painful lip out if you just slightly miss your line – use a softer approach and give the ball a chance to fall in even if it only grabs a fraction of the hole. A putt moving at a slow speed will have more of the hole to work with, giving you the maximum margin for error.

It probably goes without saying that you are going to need to practice your short putts if you want to make them regularly. When you are finished hitting some long putts across the length of the practice green, move in closer and roll some short putts in from three or four feet away. You are going to build up a tremendous amount of confidence when you hit a series of short putts, and that confidence can pay off in a big way when trying to seal the deal on a tough two-putt.

You would always rather hit your approach shot close to the hole, as opposed to having to hit a long first putt – that much is obvious. Of course, golf is a hard game, and you won't always hit the ball close. When you do have a long putt to navigate, we hope the advice we have provided in this article will be of assistance. Good luck!