BEING an effective long putter is about having good feel. The mistake many amateurs make is thinking they have to hit these putts harder. Any time you increase effort, you sacrifice feel, which is your ability to judge distance. What you want is a stroke that looks rhythmical and almost effortless. Follow these steps for better long putting.
1. Get Taller At Address
Forget those old photographs of Nicklaus and Palmer hunched over the ball on the greens. To accommodate a longer putting stroke, it’s easier if you stand taller with very little bend at the hips.
2. Check Your Pressure
Lighten your grip until you feel virtually no tension in your arms and shoulders. Your goal should be to make a smooth, free-flowing stroke back and through. And don’t rush it.
3. Lengthen The Stroke
As I said, you shouldn’t try to hit a long putt harder than a short one. Instead, simply lengthen the distance your putterhead moves both away from the ball and towards the target.
4. Putt One-Handed
Improve feel by practising with only your dominant hand. Notice your stroke gets longer and less jabby. You can do this before real putts, too. If you do, the next one should be a tap-in.
- David Leadbetter is an Australian Golf Digest Teaching Professional.