The 40-20-50-30 Distance Drill

The 40-20-50-30 Distance Drill

Scott Alford

Developing Your Feel for Distance on Long Putts is vital to becoming a great putter. If you gauge the speed correctly, you’ll make it or have an easy second putt. If your speed is off, you could easily 3-putt.

The tendency for most golfers is to hit long putts harder, they get quick and “jabby”, this causes problems with controlling speed. On long putts, the stroke should be a little longer and slower, so you can put some hit on the ball, and with some feel.

You want to accelerate through the ball, stopping at the finish—so think long and smooth:


The 3 foot circle
  • Use a hole on the Practice Green and stick four tee’s in the ground, at 20, 30, 40 and 50 feet.
  • Roll three putts in a row from each tee into the imaginary three-foot circle around the hole.
  • Start at 40 feet and putt from there until you get three in a row.
  • Then go to 20, then 50, then 30 – into a three–foot circle.


Don’t just practice this drill from one angle. If you start with downhill, right-to-left putts, next time go uphill, left-to-right. You just need a 50-foot space on the green and you’ll quickly notice a difference in your distance control.

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