Control your distance on the greens like Snedeker

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Brandt Snedeker’s performances over the last several weeks have been incredible. His victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am was icing on the cake for a great start to the 2013 season.

Snedeker finished 2012 as one of the best putters on Tour, and he is quickly showing that 2013 may not be different. He is a birdie machine on the golf course and a hot putter is the reason.

So why is Snedeker having so much success on the greens and what can we learn from it? It all comes down to his ability to control the pace of his putts.

Great distance control on the greens doesn’t necessarily mean you will make a lot of putts.

What it does guarantee is that every putt you hit will have a chance to go in, and more importantly, if it you don’t make it, the next putt should be an easy tap in.

If controlling the distance of your putts is an issue for you, try these tips the next time you’re on the practice green:

• The first step in managing your distance on the green is learning to consistently contact the ball with the center of the putter face (aka the “sweet spot”). A great drill you can utilize to practice making solid contact is the Gate Drill. Take two golf tees and stick them in the ground roughly the width of your putter. Place a ball in the middle of the tees and practice rolling the ball without hitting the tees.

• The speed of the greens you play constantly changes, so develop what I like to call a core putt. The next time you’re on the practice green before a round, go to a place on the green where the surface is flat and there are no holes. Make a putting stroke with a comfortable length and speed (I recommend a stroke size about the width of your feet). Roll three balls in a row with the same stroke and note the average distance the ball rolled. Knowing how far the ball will roll with your “core putt” can help you make an educated adjustment to your stroke when facing differing slopes and distances of putts on the course.

Take an online lesson from Tyrus York.