By Geoff Mangum
Distance control in putting is the foundation of all other putting skills (reading, aiming, and stroking). This is also control of the ending pace of the ball as it enters or passes the hole, so that this pace is all the way, affords a wide hole for capture at slow crossing speeds, and does not go more than 1-4 rolls past the hole in case of a miss.
The skill for distance control requires understanding how the body performs the skill well and what errors cause putts too short or too far past the hole. Drills and exercises isolate the components of the skill for independent learning and understanding plus integrating the components in performance
The skill is simply that 1) the focused determination to stop the ball in a safe distance past any hole — never any short of the hole but also no more than 1-4 ball rolls past the hole — “tunes” the body movement’s force to the space (and this “tuned” body state persists for about 10 seconds), then 2) the body’s everyday relaxed arm-swing tempo and even back-and-thru rhythm is used with the pre-set body force to express the size of the backswing and the resulting impact velocity of the putter head thru impact.
The key science is that the normal swinging tempo and rhythm of the body is extremely educated by years of experience in matching the energy of the backstroke and hence the size of the backstroke (and hence the velocity of impact) to what force putt is required by the world for this or that putt in terms of distance, green speed, and any uphill-downhill elevation changes. Touch is movement intentionality to the defined space plus normal, relaxed back-and-thru stroking.
To teach how the body performs excellent distance…
Read the rest of what Geoff has to say about Top Touch Drills for Putting in the March 2015 Monthly Handicap Improver here: