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Hardspoon

Distance Control on Uphill/Downhill Putts

6 posts in this topic

My distance control is very poor on uphill and downhill putts - it is tough for me to "adjust" my speed, and I end up leaving uphill putts very short and blowing downhill putts past the hole.

I don't think the problem is related to green reading - I am pretty good at determining left/right break, and I can generally tell how uphill/downhill a putt is.  I just can't get the speed right off the putter.

I think it may be a poor choice of technique: I think about how hard I would hit a flat putt, and then take a bit off or add a bit (ie, "I'll hit in 10% harder).  That's probably a poor approach, right?  I realized - after a particularly bad round on hilly greens today - that it might be better to putt to a shorter (for downhill putts) or longer (for uphill) target instead...basically, imagine a hole that is a certain distance closer/further than the real one and putt to that point.

Interestingly, my approach DOES work pretty well for adjusting to fast/slow greens, but that's something that is generally consistent within a round.

Thoughts?

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Nothing really I can say about it. I usually just know the feel for it. For me, I actually have better speed control when it is either flat, lots of uphill or lots of downhill. If you get gradual uphill putt, or downhill, those are the ones that I struggle one. I always putt the extremes the best really, just easier to see them.

First I would determine if you have good distance control at all. Find a flat spot on the green and lay down a stick 15 feet away, or a piece of string, and putt to it. Hit 5 putts, and see how many end really close to that line. I would say really close is couple inches short or long, like 1-2 inches. Nothing drastic like a foot short or a foot long. If you can't hit all 5 really close, then I would say you struggle overall with distance control. If not, then I would just recommend practicing those putts you struggle with till you get feel for it.

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You may be accelerating through your putts, make sure the backswing length comes close to matching the followthrough length.

Check this out

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First I would determine if you have good distance control at all. Find a flat spot on the green and lay down a stick 15 feet away, or a piece of string, and putt to it. Hit 5 putts, and see how many end really close to that line. I would say really close is couple inches short or long, like 1-2 inches. Nothing drastic like a foot short or a foot long. If you can't hit all 5 really close, then I would say you struggle overall with distance control. If not, then I would just recommend practicing those putts you struggle with till you get feel for it.

I can save myself some time - from 15', I'm going to be within a foot (long/short) with all 5, but there's no way all 5 are going to be within 1-2 inches.  So, there's the answer...I guess I have just noticed that it's much WORSE on uphill/downhill putts.

It sounds from your post that you go more by feel, rather than "setting" a target a certain distance short/long.  So maybe my approach isn't the issue, just my poor control overall.

You may be accelerating through your putts, make sure the backswing length comes close to matching the followthrough length.

Check this out

I think I'm good there - I do sort of a metronome thing, and (I shoot for, at least) a symmetrical backswing/follow through.

So...practice, practice, practice it is.

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Welcome to the site @kbass .

@Hardspoon ,

Another way is visualize a shorter or longer putt.  For downhill putts, I pick my starting line, then I pick a target point short of the hole along that line and putt to that point.  Same with uphill putts. The target point would be several feet past the hole, but along my starting line.  This takes out the mental factoring of effort (10% harder).  I am basically transforming the green to a flat surface.

It is just another type of visualization.

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