How this simple mind trick can improve your putting-distance control
Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.
The quickest way to see improvement on your scorecard is to master your putting distance control. This will help you avoid two- and three-putts, and slowly shave a few strokes off your game.
But nobody really enjoys hitting a bunch of balls on the practice green, right? Most amateurs just want to flex their muscles on the driving range, bombing drivers and seeing more distance off the tee.
That’s important, sure, but don’t forget about the meaning behind the ol’ saying “drive for show, putt for dough” — because your game will benefit more from putting gains than a few extra yards with the driver.
While improving your putting distance control might sound simple, it’s much more difficult than it first appears. In fact, it often requires hours of dedicated practice and repetition to sharpen your muscle memory.
In today’s Play Smart, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Kevin Sprecher shares a unique technique that can help you develop the proper putting feel in a matter of minutes (yes, minutes!), and incorporates using audio. This innovative concept can make you lethal on the greens.
How to incorporate audio golf for your putting distance control
According to Sprecher, this technique has received ringing endorsements from golf legends and esteemed media personalities like Brad Faxon and Mark Immelman. His advice below will help players of all levels improve with the flatstick.
The surprising reality
Did you know that professional golfers makes only half of their putts from 8 feet? For a 90s-shooter, the probability of sinking a putt from this distance drops to a mere 27%. So for putts from longer ranges, it’s essential to get down the distance control.
The elusive solution
Achieving good putting distance control means consistently getting the ball close to the hole. This will help you not only avoid costly three-putts but also make more par and birdie tries.
Unfortunately, developing this kind of feel takes countless repetitions.
Mastering the mental game
Even when the swing feels right during practice, the pressure can easily throw off your game when it matters most. Simple shots, such as a 3-footers, can create such mental pressure that many players miss them. That’s because these are the shots that you simply have to make to post lower scores.
Sound patterns: A game-changing solution
That’s where using audio sounds comes into play, courtesy of Audio Golf, which is a groundbreaking solution that differs from most putting drills.
Audio Golf offers unique sound patterns that correspond to critical distances to the hole. Focusing on a specific pattern during your stroke helps you hit your ball the appropriate distance intended for that pattern.
The inventor of Audio Golf, music professor Chia Chou, compares this technique to dancing, where the body moves unconsciously to the rhythm of the music. With Audio Golf, your swing harmonizes with the sound, resulting in a refined and precise swing motion.
So rather than endlessly practicing a feeling, you can now rely on distinct sound patterns. After a few repetitions, your swing movement aligns with the sound, ensuring the correct rhythm, backswing length and ball speed for consistent distance.
Improve your putting instantly
One example to try is the “ya-la-bam” sound.
During your backswing, think “ya-la” to control its length. Then, during your swing, think “bam” to control its speed. The ratio of “ya-la” to “bam” determines the putt’s rhythm — most Tour players typically use a 2:1 ratio — with the backswing duration being twice as long as the time it takes to strike the ball.
The video below helps explain this more in depth.
As demonstrated in the video, these sound patterns are incredibly powerful for controlling putting distances, so much so that the golfer was still successful even while putting blindfolded.
Master your entire golf game using Audio Golf
While using sound patterns helps players lock in their putting distance control, this concept can be used in every aspect of your game.
Sprecher has seen golfers use Audio Golf for wedge shots and driving as well.
“Not only did they experience significant improvements in their putting skills,” Sprecher says, “but their overall execution of other swing techniques that we had been working on throughout the season also showed remarkable progress.
“What resonated with everyone was the fact that they no longer had to overthink technique, but could instead rely on the power of sound patterns to enhance their game.”