A lot of golfers struggle on the putting green because of their poor distance control, especially on long distance putts. To teach distance control, I often use the ladder drill in my junior programs and individual putting lessons with great results. The drill uses lengths of string spaced at regular intervals away from the golfer and it takes the hole out of the equation, with a total focus on distance control. It will challenge all players from beginners to golfers with single-digit handicaps.
First, you need to cut five or six pieces of string, about three to four feet long each, and lay them down on the practice green, progressively farther away. Space them about three to four feet apart.
You can start from 25 feet onwards or whichever distance you are struggling with. You can also place it on either an uphill or downhill slope.
The objective is to stop the ball in between the strings. You can start with putting 5 balls between the first two strings and then another 5 balls between the second and the third strings and continue until you finish the last two strings.
When you have completed that drill, you can try different variations: For example, you can putt one ball in between the strings starting from the first two strings until you reach the end or start from the furthest one going to the closest one. Have some fun and make a game of it. If you miss one you must start all over again. You can also mix it up by starting from the last two strings, then on your next putt you get in on the first two strings and then on the two middle strings.
A lot of players are so busy reading the line of their putts that they never focus on the correct distance especially on long putts. When you get the right speed on a long putt, even if your line is not accurate the ball should finish close to the hole. This alone will reduce the number of three putts you have.
Give the ladder drill a try and I’m sure you will see a lot of improvement in your distance control in putting.
Ruby Chico Kurtelius was born and raised in Manila. She was introduced to the game of golf at the age of eight by her grandfather at Wack Wack Golf & Country Club. Ruby was a member of the Philippines National Team for 15 years with an outstanding golf career. She captured first place at the Asian Junior Golf Championships, was 5th at the Junior World in the U.S. and won the 1987 Philippine Ladies Open.
In 1988-1992, Ruby competed for the Brigham Young University in the U.S. She clinched the “Player of the Year” title in her 2nd year and she also came first at their conference championships. In 2002, she turned professional and played on the Symetra Tour.
Ruby is an LPGA Class ‘A’ Teaching Professional and currently works as a golf instructor at Heartland Golf Schools – Singapore’s Premier Golf Academy. Ruby has honed her instruction skills over the years teaching juniors programs and individual lessons. Whether a beginner or a seasoned player, junior or senior in age, Ruby will be able to help a wide variety of golfers to improve their golf game. Her student-centered approach to teaching reflects her love for golf and her desire to spread the game.