I am fortunate to represent Osprey Links Golf Course on the Senior Men’s Ryder Cup team. This team will compete against four other teams in the region with a chance to play at the provincial championship in August. The interesting aspect of this competition is that I will play on three different courses in the span of five weeks. The change in venues will challenge my ability to adjust to the speed of the greens at each club to ensure I help my team gain the much needed points. Fortunately, I found a simple drill by Paula Creamer that builds on my putting foundation that is easily transportable to any golf course. I can say that it works very well and I plan to use it today when I play in the second leg of our competition.
****Update on 21 June 21**** – I used the drill below on the practice green of Timberwolf Golf Course and it worked very well. I felt comfortable through out the round and did not 3 putt once.
I wrote an article last year about establishing a base line for putts out to 10 paces. Of course, my foundation was developed for my home course at Osprey Links, but the concept is solid and has dramatically reduced my three putts. I have used this concept for many years, but wrote about it in order to share a simple method to help others improve their putting stats. If you want to read more, here is the link to How To Properly Judge The Distance On A Long Putt.
I have a simply drill I use when I head to different golf courses and recently found a video that explains my simple drill. Paula Creamer shows that putting from 10, 20, and 30 feet will help develop a feel for the speed of greens that we do not normally play. However, she adds a bit of a twist:
Creamer adds a hollow square to the drill. She places a club about 30 inches behind the hole and then creates a hitting area with two other clubs. This drill set up forces us to hit to the hole, but to leave the ball within a reasonable one putt distance left. When I do the drill, I generally do not place the side clubs down because I can judge the width distances without a guide. However, the critical club is placed at the back to act as a distance gauge. You might think that 30 inches is a bit much, but it is a great place to start.
After putting a number of balls (you have to decide as you zero in on the speed) from all three distances, I recommend that you move the back club closer to really hone in on the speed of the greens. I recommend moving it to 18 inches once you determine you have a good feel for the greens. If you still putt near the hole without hitting the club, then you are now lagging to tap in range. And this is always a good thing, right?
Paula Creamer’s simple drill is not anything new. However, she visually demonstrates how to set up this quick and simple drill that does reduce the number of 3 putts by gauging the speed of the greens. As I said earlier, I will be using this drill today at Timberwolf Golf Course because the wet conditions will definitely affect the speed of the greens. I will let you know how things work out.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!