Golfing Magazine Online -
Instruction - Keys to Consistent Putting by Chip Koehlke
Web Master
By Web Master
Published on 12/12/2008

How To Decode Putting Distance

Have you ever wondered how professionals are able to stroke putts consistently the right distance every time, no matter what the length? Try this simple drill and you too could learn one of the best kept secrets of the touring professional.

The interesting thing about distance control is that most people already have the necessary motor skills that allow them to hit any length putt at the correct speed. This motor skill is simply the same hand-eye coordination used to toss a paper into the waste basket from across the room. The point is that you may already have developed the skill to putt with great consistency and now need the code to unlock this resource.

When you toss the paper towards the waste basket, are you consciously thinking about how hard you need to throw it? Not likely, instead you simply focus your eye on the target and then react. When we putt, we focus our eye on the golf ball not the target, so how can we get putting to become more like tossing the paper into the waste basket? I’m not going to suggest that you look at the hole as you putt, but that isn’t far off the mark. The fact is that most TOUR players and great putters will look at the hole as they make their practice strokes and allow their dominant hand to develop a feel for the corresponding distance. That is not to say they never look down as they make one or two of their practice strokes, but at some point during their routine they will look at the hole to allow their eye to communicate the distance code to their hands.

OK, now let’s try this simple drill to see how this philosophy works. Set-up for a putt of about four to six feet. Once you are in your putting stance, take your left hand (for right handed players) off the club and place it on your right shoulder. Then, swivel your head to look at the hole. Keep your eyes totally focused on the hole and make a stroke. Now, repeat this several times. I’ll bet you didn’t know putting could be so easy…you may even consider using this putting method on the course. The key is to allow your body the time to adjust to the feel, pace, length, and rhythm of the practice strokes related to your visual input.

Chip Koehlke, PGA Professional,
Director of Instruction, Faldo Golf Institute
12001 Avenida Verde. Orlando, FL 32821
Direct Line (407) 238-3400 or (888)
GO-FALDO (463-2536)