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].