As we know, putting is arguably the most important aspect of the game. Your putter is your most used club and yet it is neglected in practice by most. Your average golfer will easily dedicate 30 minutes to an hour of practice on the range, without so much as looking at their putter. And while there is an argument for putting being ‘pure feel’, there are some simple things you can do to improve your technique. So, here you go – six easy drills that WILL improve your putting and lower your scores:
Many players struggle getting the putter head back to impact on a straight path and with a square face angle. This two-tee drill can help a little with both of those. You want to start this drill at 5 feet, hole 10 in-a-row, then move back at 2-feet increments.
To set this drill up, you will set the putter face to your target and stick a tee 1cm outside both the toe and heel. As you start to improve, you can begin to move the tees closer to the toe and heel of the putter (making the gate narrower).
This drill helps you focus your attention when practicing your putting. Rather than just holing putts from various distances, having this hole gate set up will force you to hit the center of the hole. Following the principle of “aim small, miss small”, the hole will look huge when you move the tees away.
This drill is simple to set up – make a gate in front of the center of the hole that is approximately 1cm wider each side of a golf ball. Try to hole 10 in a row, starting at 5 feet, then begin to move back in 2-feet increments.
From 10 feet and in, you should try to be confident in your ability to hole out. This drill will help you with your pace and intentions from that 10-feet range and closer. To start, push a tee into the back of the hole (sorry green-keepers) and have it stick out approximately 1/3 of the hole depth at a slight upward angle. Please only use this drill on the practice green – do not try on the course! From here, your objective is to hit putts at the back of the hole as to hammer the tee in. You do not need to hit the putts crazy hard, just enough to make solid contact with the tee.
Is there anything worse than leaving a putt short? Well, what might be worse is your playing partner saying, “would have gone in, if you’d hit it” or “never up, never in”. Either way, you don’t want this to happen.
Practice from 5 feet and outward using a tee 1 foot behind the hole. The objective is simple: if you miss the putt, your aim is to have it finish between the hole and the tee behind it. Anything within that 1-foot range means you have given the putt a chance of going in AND you have an easy return.
To hit a good putt with the most effective forward roll, you need to strike the ball slightly on the up. This promotes top spin and allows the ball to begin rolling, rather than skidding and spinning.
A drill to help you achieve a neutral or upward angle of attack on your putts is the “on-the-up drill”. To set this drill up, push a tee fully into the ground. You only want the head of the tee above the surface (so there is about 3-5mm of tee showing). From here, hit some 5-foot putts off the tee. Hitting the putts off this low tee height will force your stroke to work on-the-up.
Finally, a good drill to help your alignment and putter path! This drill is very easy to set up and gives a great indication of your alignment and putter path. Stick a blob of blue-tac on the toe and heel of the putter face (on the extremities). Then, push a tee onto each blob creating right angles with the face. Use these tees to help with your alignment, and hit some short putts (5 feet and in).
Give some of these drills a try, they will improve your putting. You may have noticed the unique putter and ball combination, in some of the images – stay tuned for some equipment reviews! Please follow my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages for more articles and info.