A few years back, I had the pleasure to play golf with LPGA Legends Tour Golfer, Barbara Moxness at Black Diamond Golf and Country Club. After observing her putting accuracy and precise distance control during the round, I asked her what method she uses when putting to be so consistent with her distance control.
Here’s Barb’s sage advice to me on how to become more consistent with distance when putting: “I pick a spot about 6 inches to a foot in front of the hole, along the break line, that is the last spot the ball should roll over before going into the hole, and I aim for that, as this helps gauge the distance. That way I have points along the line that connect to the hole.”
I incorporated her advice immediately, and it really does help to “dial in the right distance” when putting. My take on why this putting tip is so helpful is that the additional reference point(s) along the path, helps to complete the route to the hole, enabling your brain to better calculate the distance to the hole.
Putting Line and Distance
Some golfers may only look at their golf ball and the hole to determine their putting line and distance. Many golfers also pick a point in front of their golf ball along their chosen line, this helps with directing the ball along the path, but doesn’t help with calculating the distance. By adding additional reference point (s) along the chosen path, at the height of a breaking point and again near the hole, this will help reinforce the line to the hole and will help you to more accurately gauge the distance to the hole.
I believe this method works because it’s utilizing both hemispheres of the brain in order to calculate the distance more accurately. The right side of your brain is looking at the big picture (your golf ball and the hole), while your left side of the brain is calculating the distance between each reference point and combining the information for more conclusive feedback.
In summary, if your goal is to improve the putting accuracy and distance control in your putting game, you should have at least four points of reference for your putting line to the hole, five if you have a significant breaking point. The ball, the hole, one point in front of your ball, one point if you have a large break and the final point in front of the hole. Then aim at either the last point before the hole, if it’s relatively a straight putt or aim at the height of the breaking point along the path if you have a significant break in the line.
Why should I use this putting tip?
Having a consistent and repeatable method of reading your line will improve your putting accuracy and consistency. This in turn will boost your confidence and results on the greens.
I encourage you to incorporate this putting tip into your routine as it has helped me to better gauge the distance of my putts. To learn more from LPGA great Barbara Moxness, I recommend you read her book; “Golf From The Inside Out”, it’s one of my favorite golf books, it’s both inspirational and motivating and full of helpful information on playing golf, from the Inside Out!
Phillip Jaffe, PGA Member
Founder & President, Palmbird Putter Grips