Putt for distance in practice

When you go onto the practice putting green before a game - as I hope you always do - RESIST the temptation to try to put the ball into the hole. At least , at first.

Go to a corner and putt only for distance. Putt several balls so they stop alongside one another three paces away. Then six paces. Then nine. Then back to three.

After this, if you have time, place the balls about two paces away from a convenient hole and hole them out.

But if you don't have time, don't bother.

The greens on the course may not be anything like the practice green. There will be curves you don't immediately see. The putt that ''worked'' in practice may deceive you in play. But if you get your distances right you are certain to putt very consistently.

On a good day most putts will drop. On a less-good day you still won't three-putt. Distance, as they say, lends enchantment.

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