6 Drills That WILL Improve Your Putting

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:

Face Gate

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.

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The face gate can help with face angle and putter path.

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).

Hole Gate

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.

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As you improve, you can make the gate smaller.

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.

Hammer Time

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.

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Try to make solid contact with the tee in the back of the hole.

1-Foot Pace

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.

On-The-Up Drill

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.

On the up

Tee the ball as if you were hitting a short par-3 tee shot. This helps you stroke on-the-up.

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.

Blue-Tac Drill

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.

 

 

 

 

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How To: Hit a Low-Bullet Driver

Bullet drive

Many players around the world find themselves stumped, when faced with a windy day at the golf course. Those high-flying drives that carry a great distance end up being weak and ineffective in windy conditions. To help you keep the ball down in the wind and allow for maximum roll, here are three tips to hitting a low-bullet driver.

Tee the Ball Down

This may seem obvious, but teeing the ball down can begin to lower your driver ball flight. Many of today’s drivers see the main sweet spot toward the top of the clubface. This means they perform better when struck slightly higher off the face, so naturally golfers tee their drivers high. Normally, you would like to see ¼ or ½ of the ball above the top line of the head.

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Begin by teeing the ball lower – the top of the ball should sit close to flush with the top of the face. (Photo cred: golfalot.com)

To hit a lower ball, you want to lower your tee height so that the top of the ball sits almost flush to the top line of the driver. Be careful, when teeing the ball down with your driver, that you do not ‘go searching’ for the ball with a steep descending angle of attack. You want to maintain a shallow angle of attack through impact and create a sweeping motion (this will keep the spin rate down and stop the ball from rising in the wind).

Shift Your Center of Gravity

A second tip to hitting a bullet driver is to slightly shift your center of gravity forward. Normally when hitting driver, you want to keep your weight behind the ball at address and impact. To do this, golfers lean on their right side. This allows the player to hit the driver ‘on the up’ and launch it high with low spin.

To keep the ball down, you want a more even weight distribution at address. Here lies the problem – most golfers when asked to hit a low drive will simply push the ball way back in their stance. Moving the ball far back in your stance will create too much of a descending attack angle and high-spinning drive. So, to counteract this, you want to maintain a good ball position (inside your left heel) and then move your right foot slightly closer to your left. Simply put, you are narrowing your stance whilst keeping the same ball position.

Narrow stance

MeAndMyGolf suggest a narrow stance when attempting to draw the ball. This same principle can be applied, however, to hitting a lower drive. (Photo cred: MeAndMyGolf)

From this position, you have a more even weight distribution whilst maintaining a good ball position. This will begin to lower your driver ball flight.

Grip Down the Club

One final tip to hitting a lower drive is to grip down the club. When gripping the driver, move 1-2 inches further down the grip and keep the same stance distance from the ball. What this does is pull the driver head further up the ball and allows the golfer to, not only strike the ball at a shallow angle but also, strike the ball lower on the face.

 

Each of these tips can be used individually or combined together, to produce lower drives. Have a go at your local driving range and you will begin to see those low-bullet drives. As always, please follow on Twitter @golfwithpark, Instagram @golfwithpark, and Facebook GolfWithPark

Bomb Your Drives: Four Tips for Longer Tee Shots

Bomb your drives[2328]

300 yards, straight down-the-middle. For most, this comes around midnight with eyes firmly shut and an accompanying ensemble of snoring. However, there are some easy drills/improvements you can do to increase the distance of your average drive. Below, I outline four things the average golfer can do to increase their overall driving distance.

Get Fit for a Driver

This may seem pretty obvious, but many amateur golfers still pick a driver straight off the rack. For most, this isn’t the best setup for your game. And for those still using a driver made in the mid-2000s, it’s time to move on!

Driver technology today is phenomenal, and can really help to add distance and accuracy to your drives. Whether it be through the correct shaft weight, shaft stiffness, or head setup, getting fit for a driver is a must for anyone looking to increase distance.

Widen Your Arc

Having a wider arc gives the golfer greater leverage and rotational power throughout the swing. To do this, feel as though your right arm is extending through the backswing and, on the downswing, feel as though you are keeping the clubface away from the ball as long as possible. This gives a sweeping, shallow angle of attack. Providing you have the correct spin rates from your driver setup, this WILL increase your driving distance.

Improve Your Strike Pattern

Many people believe that increasing your swing speed will result in longer drives. And, although this has some truth to it, there is more to it than that. Increasing your swing speed will only result in longer drives IF you maintain/improve your strike pattern. For most amateur golfers, a smoother tempo with a stronger strike will result in a longer drive than just a faster swing.

To improve your ball striking, first you need to practice more. As simple as it sounds, there’s a reason why the best ball strikers in the world are the ones that practice 7 days a week. Second, use some strike stickers/tape on your clubs. By applying impact tape to your irons and drivers when practicing, you can begin to hone in on the middle of the club face and recognize the difference between a good and bad strike.

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Impact tape is a cheap and effective way to monitor your strike patterns with both woods and irons.

Tee it Higher

The key to longer drives is a mid-high launch, with low spin. This will result in maximum hang time and roll. To do this, first you must have the correct driver setup for your swing (shaft, head, loft, face angle). Once you have this, studies have shown that golfers who tee the ball high hit it, on average, further than those with a mid or low tee height. This is because teeing the ball high promotes sweeping up on the golf ball through impact.

While current research is divided between whether the optimum drive should be hit with a descending or ascending angle of attack, for amateur golfers it is much easier to control an ascending angle of attack (hitting the golf ball on the up). So, tee it high and watch it fly!

As always, please check my Twitter and Instagram accounts for more regular postings @GolfWithPark

Master the Fairway Bunker Shot

One of the toughest shots in golf – the fairway bunker shot. Whether it be 100 yards, 150 yards, or 200 yards, many amateur golfers struggle with the lengthy bunker shot.

Fairway bunker

The main difference between a fairway bunker shot and a greenside bunker shot is the striking of the golf ball. With a greenside bunker shot, most the time you will take a fair amount of sand before the ball. This is in the hope of a cushioned landing, a higher launch angle, and to control the shot over a short distance. With a fairway bunker shot, the objectives are different. You aim to strike the ball cleanly, carry the ball a decent distance, and come as close to your standard club yardages as possible. Here are some things you can do to help strike a fairway bunker shot cleanly:

Choke down on the club

In order to strike the ball first, and the sand second, you should choke down on the grip. Gripping down the club by 1-2 inches, and standing the same distance from the ball, pulls the clubhead upward to the golfer. This makes the club shorter and moves the leading edge of the club face up the golf ball. By gripping down on the club, it is much easier to strike the ball before the sand, and promotes a slight thin on the golf ball.

Move the ball back in your stance

Once you have gripped down on the club, to avoid completely thinning/topping the golf shot, you should move the ball position back in your stance. You should aim to move the position back one club. For example: if you are hitting an 8 iron, address the ball as if you were hitting a 9 iron. This promotes a descending strike on the golf ball and, with the combination of gripping down on the club, can really help give a clean strike with maximum distance control.

Don’t dig your feet too deep

One of the oldest tips with bunker shots is to dig your feet into the sand. With a greenside bunker shot, this lowers your center of gravity and helps you take a lot of sand with the golf ball. On a fairway bunker shot, you do not want to be too low in the sand. Dig your feet ever so slightly, as to keep yourself stable through the shot, but try not to lose any height in the sand.

Give these three tips a try, the next time you’re in a fairway bunker! Let me know how you get on, by commenting below or going through the contact form.