Use These 3 Easy Drills to Improve Your Putting
The least thing upset him on the links. He missed short putts because of the uproar of the butterflies in the adjoining meadows.
― P.G. Wodehouse
If bad putting is your biggest obstacle to breaking par, you may want to take a hint from Tiger Woods. Perhaps the greatest putter of all time, Mr. Woods relies on putting drills to keep his game worthy of the reputation he’s built over the years.
Of course, Tiger’s not the only one. Professionals and would-be champions alike have learned that there’s no substitute for practice, practice, and more practice. To help you solve your putting problems, here are three easy drills you can do to lower your score— and perhaps even clock a few birdies down the line.
Putting Drill #1: Tiger’s Technique
Like most tour professionals, Tiger Woods is very consistent with ballstriking on the short putt. When you hit the ball with the sweet spot of your putter, you’re more likely to have not just a good roll but consistent speed as well.
To practice centering your strikes, use Tiger’s gating technique. He creates a “gate” with two tees pushed into the ground just far enough apart to allow the putterhead to fit through. Your gate should be a yard from the hole.
Practice putting— Tiger does 12 putts using only his right hand then switches to two-handed putts. If his putter hits the gate, he starts over. The goal is to make 100 in a row. The idea is to keep your putter straight during the putt.
Putting Drill #2: The Careful Clock Technique
Putting drills may seem like all technique but many, like this one, bolster your mental game as well. It’s essential to master putting under pressure, where you’ll have to assess your putt, make a decision, and carry through on that decision with precise putting technique. This drill helps you improve your game along those lines.
First, set up: you’ll need 16 tees. Place the first tee 3 feet from the hole. Then the next three tees should be placed in line at 6, 9, and 12 feet out from the hole. Repeat this pattern directly opposite your first line of tees, and then complete the pattern at 90 degrees to your first line. You’ll end up with an “X” shape with the hole at the center where the lines cross.
You’ll be making a putt from each tee for a total of 16 putts that have to be completed in half an hour. If you miss a putt, start over again… hence the pressure!
Putting Drill #3: Beat the Box Technique
This drill is all about controlling the speed of your putt during a long putt. Although the goal is always to sink the ball, this drill requires that the ball simply end up in a ‘box’ you’ve drawn around the hole.
The idea is to begin your putt from five feet away from the hole then increase the distance to 10, 15, and 20 fee away. Place cones at those distances and put three balls near each cone. Each ball that makes it inside a box drawn around the hole equals one point, with a bonus point for sinking it.
From five feet away, you’ll probably make your goal and get all three points, if not more. But once you pull back to the cones set further away, your long putt gets a real challenge.
Practice Makes Perfect
Shaving points off your par can be hard work but incredibly gratifying once you make some progress. As you’ve seen here, improving your putting skills is one way to makes sure you’re moving forward, not just taking up space on the course. Good luck! And always remember, the pros at Golf Club of the Everglades are always available for coaching. Give us a call or visit our Golf Lessons page for more information.