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Top 10 Putting Tips


5
To Sink a Long Put, Aim Short
Golfer Camilo Villegas contorts himself into an interesting position to read the green.
Golfer Camilo Villegas contorts himself into an interesting position to read the green.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

When you're only a few feet from the cup, it's easy to aim the face of the putter and apply precisely the right amount of force. But what if you're trying to sink a 20-foot (6-meter) putt? A slight error in your alignment can throw you completely off, which is why long putts are enough to rattle the nerves of all but the most skilled golfers. And that's a pity, because your ability to make such shots can shave plenty of strokes off your score.

That's why great putters learn to compensate for distance by using a visualization technique called spot putting. Once you line up the shot, instead of aiming at the hole itself, focus on an imaginary spot along that line, approximately 3 feet (0.9 meters) in front of you. If you've visualized the putt correctly, the ball should roll on through that imaginary target to the hole [source: Morrice].