Angus Murray
By Anne Cain
Friday, October 31, 2008

This story is for you if...

• You often leave yourself long putts...
• ...and have no idea how to get the speed right.

The Situation

You need to two-putt from 100 feet to save par. Problem is, you never practice this shot, so you don't have any reference for how to hit it.

The Solution

Studies have shown that people who look at the hole while putting make more long putts than players who look at the ball. You might not be comfortable with that, but at least make a point to look at the hole during your practice strokes.

When you focus on the ball (and not the target) you impede your ability to "feel" the distance to the cup. That's why you should make practice strokes while looking at the hole. Peer at your target and make long, smooth pendulum strokes. Then step in and roll the ball with the same feel. Don't lollygag — you want those muscle memories to be fresh.

Play the ball slightly forward of center so you don't hit it on a downward stroke and come up short. Unless Lewis and Clark are on your bag, you won't be able to read every break on this putt, but pay special attention to the last third of its roll because that's where it will slow down and break the most.

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