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What is more important- Distance or Direction

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Greetings golfers. Did you know that putting accounts for around 40% of your total score? No doubt it is important to practice your putting on a consistent basis. But what is the most efficient way to go about positive practice?

Distance vs Direction

“There is absolutely no doubt about it... distance is more important than direction.”

The easiest way to elevate your score is through three putting. Your goal on every green should be two putts or less.

Putting 101-

Golf is challenging. Hitting your driver 350 yards like Bryson DeChambeau is illusive for pretty much all of us however there is no reason we can't all be good and effective putters.

There are two main ingredients that go into creating a good putt - distance and direction. I ask my clients all the time, "what is more important, distance or direction?" I hear both answers. There is absolutely no doubt about it... distance is more important than direction.

Distance control is essential in our ability to lag that ball close to the cup. We can be off a foot or two with the direction however if our distance is poor we will most likely 3 putt. The statistics on the PGA TOUR are interesting. The best players in the world make roughly 80% of putts from 5 feet. That number drops to 50% from 8 feet. Our goal should always be to get that first putt within a three foot circle. This will eliminate the possibility of three putts.

How do we go about creating positive practice habits?

Practice should be fun, enjoyable and effective. When you leave the practice tee or the putting green you should ask yourself if you got any better today.

One of my favorite putting drills is pictured below. Set up 3 target circles 10, 20 and 30 feet away from where you are putting. Simply practice lagging the balls into each target circle. Distance is controlled ultimately by how fast the putter head is moving at impact and how solid the ball is struck. The length of the stroke both back and forward should increase as the putt gets longer. Feel changes daily. Some days distance control is a breeze and others it is challenging at best. Have fun with the challenge of improving your distance.

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