Follow Reed's lead, ride your putter to a hot round


With three consecutive rounds of 63, Patrick Reed elevated himself to a seven-shot lead going into the final round of the Humana Challenge on Sunday.

Reed nearly saw that lead slip away, but he drained a clutch 15-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to complete a final-round 71 and secure a two-shot victory.

His 30 birdies and two eagles in 72 holes, along with several other one-putt greens, will get you in position to win every week on the PGA Tour, and it’s no secret that to post that many red numbers you’ll need to have the flatstick rolling.

There’s nothing more exciting than having a hot putter and riding it to a great round.

Here are some things to think about to help you heat up your putter and start making more putts:

• Master distance control. You can be the best green reader on the planet, but if you can’t judge the speed of your putts you’re probably not going to make very many. Practice is irreplaceable when developing speed control, but it must be productive practice. Hitting the sweet spot of the putter is crucial when developing speed. A great drill to ensure that you are hitting the ball in the center of the putter when you practice is to take two rubber bands and put them on the putter head with about a one-inch gap between the two, leaving the sweet spot exposed. When you putt, the ball will react wildly to any off-center hits and you'll get immediate, valuable feedback.

• Spend extra time learning how to read greens. Some of the best green readers don’t rely on their eyes to tell them where to aim, they use their feet. If you can tell the difference in whether or not you are walking uphill or downhill you can determine the break of the green. Try this by standing several feet away and walk in a circle around the hole. Half the time you will likely be walking up hill and the other half will be downhill. The point where an uphill walk turns into a downhill walk will be the straight putt. By knowing where the straight putt is you can easily determine which direction the ball will curve.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help improve your putting, click here.