It is the time of year where I actively look for now (and sometimes old) drills to improve my golf game. My intentional effort to improve my knowledge is important to building the proper foundation for my 2021 golf season. Sometimes, my research reinforces my current habits and today’s drill from Phil Mickelson does just that; it improves my short game. Not surprisingly, Mickelson’s drill is an extension of my star drill, however his explanation is exactly what I have been trying to articulate for years. I think this is a game changer for many players who struggle with how to confidently finish a golf hole.
Here is what Phil has to say:
This drill is brilliant. For many players who do not understand the value of the 3 foot circle around the hole, Mickelson explains how it is the foundation of his success. Additionally, he explains how this putting drill builds confidence and routine to ensure that during pressure situations in competition, we have a method to sink those pesky 3 footers. Lastly, I like how Mickelson’s explanation of distance from the hole drastically impacts the percentage of made putts. Who knew how just a foot or two lowers our success rate when putting. The 3 foot circle is a critical number that every golfer should embrace.
I have tried to emphasize the importance of this seemingly small space around the cup in many articles. I am somewhat dismayed that I had not found this video earlier and used it as a reference for you the readers. Regardless, I found it now and hopefully you useful. This is the drill (see below) proposed in earlier posts, but now understand I have to make a slight modification to how I execute it. First, this is my version:
My drill is similar to what Mickelson espouses, except for two things; first, he uses 10 putting stations around the cup. This is a better idea because it allows for a less drastic influence from the break and allows us to develop a rhythm to setting up this putt. I like this aspect of the drill because it is repeatable on the golf course.
Secondly, Mickelson recommends only moving back one foot at a time from the cup. This is a significant change from what I was proposing of moving back in three foot increments. I definitely see how slowly moving back would be more beneficial to creating a foundation of strong putting near the hole. His approach does focus on finishing a hole after hitting it within that 3 foot circle and for the most ingrains success leads to success when putting. Now, I just have to hit the ball within three feet to make this part of the drill more valuable. 😉
My quest to find better golf drills to improve my game has successfully started. I do not always have to find new drills becuase refining some of my proven successes is a great approach as well. Mickelson’s putting drill is a proof of how, in my case, refining what works is a great approach to eventually lowering my golf scores.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!