Coming up short on one putt then blowing it five feet past the hole on your next.
You lack an innate sense of feel for putting distance.
A single session on the practice green. While your eyes are great for sending signals to your brain that tell you how long or short a stroke to make for a given distance, there’s more to it than trusting your peepers. Mastering the art of distance control is about trusting yourself and your stroke.
Place a ball 10 feet from the hole and put your glove in the cup (to take away sound). Survey the putt. Once you think you have a feel for the distance, turn your head away from your target and close your eyes.
Stroke the putt and continue looking away until you can estimate where your ball ended up. Look up to see how closely your estimate matched the actual distance. Your goal is to create a perfect match.
Make this drill part of your practice routine (varying the distance and break each time), and you won’t have to rely on mechanics to putt the ball a given distance — your feel will do it for you.
A major key to consistently putting the ball the correct distance is consistently making contact in the center of your putterface. Contact out toward the toe or heel results in far less energy transfer, which also explains why you roll your ball way past the hole on one putt and then roll it way short the next, even with the same stroke.
To improve your contact consistency, wrap two rubber bands around the left and right sides of your putter’s sweet spot. Practicing with the bands on your putter instantly tells you when you fail to stroke the ball in the center or your face. You’ll feel a “thud” rather than a “click,” meaning you missed the center and hit one of the bands.