Tips to Improve Your Long Putts

Dave Pelz  2012
To avoid three-putting long putts, golfers need to: (1) have their “touch” on high alert, (2) carefully observe the last five feet of their first putt’s roll to see how it breaks, and (3) stay positive and focused when the winds of the golf gods unexpectedly give them a second putt that is longer than they deserve. This is important, because three-putts often do more than waste one stroke: They can demoralize and anger a golfer, and often trigger disasters on subsequent holes. Putting Games

Annika Sorenstam  2004
I divide every long putt into two segments, walking halfway to the hole and making practice strokes from there while looking from the ball to the hole. When I read a long putt, I’ll pick an intermediate point about halfway to the hole and aim for that point. Then I’ll picture the putt rolling over that spot. I think of the putt as I would a ski slope, envisioning the putt’s trail and trying to keep the ball inside that track.  Golf Annika’s Way

Gay Brewer  1968
Mental attitude is more important on the greens than anywhere else. A little thing that can mean a lot in putting is a waggle. Most everybody takes a waggle when addressing a drive, but not many do when they putt. You’ll get better rhythm when you start your actual stroke if you lift the putter up and down or in some other way break the tension.  Score Better Than You Swing

Tiger Woods  2001
Early in 1999, at the Byron Nelson Classic, I ran into Ben Crenshaw, who may be the greatest putter of all time. I asked him how tightly he held the putter. Ben said he gripped his putter so lightly it almost fell from his hands. Hearing that from Ben really did it for me. I committed myself to easing my grip pressure, and it really paid off. I’d say that on a scale of 1 to 10, my grip pressure is about a 5. That may be tighter than Ben holds his putter, but it’s pretty light for me and I do have an increased sense of feel. If you’re having trouble on lag putts, check your grip pressure. No doubt about it, light is right.  How I Play Golf

Billy Casper  1980
I am convinced that it is necessary to hold the hands close to the body and legs when putting, especially on long putts. There have been very few good putters, if any, who held their hands well away from them. When you do, the possibility is increased of making extraneous movements that will take the blade out of the proper swing path. It can waver all over the place and cause a lot of mishits.  The Good Sense of Golf

Bobby Jones  1996
It is a good practice, when the line of a putt cannot be determined, to borrow generously from any slope and try to make the ball pass a tiny bit above the hole. If the ball remains above the hole, there is always a chance that it will fade into the upper side, and it is certain that it will, at any rate, stop not far away. But once a putt begins to roll below the hole, every inch that it travels carries it further from the objective.  Secrets of the Master

Sandy LaBauve  1994
Be observant as you walk to the green and start reading your long putt before you reach it. Is the general contour of the green uphill or downhill? From your ball, walk to the hole along your intended line and feel the slope with your feet, survey it with your eyes. Pace off your putt so you know the exact distance. This way you can use your reference strokes (for a 6-footer, 12-footer, etc.) to determine how long a stroke to make. Shave 10 Strokes in 12 Days

Johnny Miller  2000
The best thing that I’ve done with my putting game lately is to become less results-oriented. I focus on a two-foot radius around the hole and say to myself, anywhere in that range is fine. If I make it, great. If not, I’ll go up there and tap it in. It takes a lot of the pressure off and gives me a lot more confidence.  Breaking 90

Mitchell Spearman  2004
As you prepare to make your putting stroke, imagine there’s a thumbtack protruding from the back of your golf ball. Your goal is to tap the thumbtack firmly into the ball. This will encourage proper acceleration and solid contact with the ball and boost your confidence by providing a focus for your putting stroke.  A.I.M. of Golf