I recently had a conversation in the parking lot of Osprey Links with a gentlemen named Kevin. Our chat started by saying good morning to each other as he was putting his clubs away and I was heading out for a round of golf. Remember golf is a contact sport and chatting with other players around the course is always interesting. During our discussion, Kevin mentioned that he was having a tough time on the greens. He was struggling to sink the ball and in some cases, just get the ball to the hole. So, I thought I would offer up three putting drills that I have used/use over the years to helped me improve my short game dramatically.
The video below compiles three drills that all players should be using in one form or another. I have devoted an article to each, but having all three in one video is helpful. Take a look:
The first drill uses tees to set up a gate as your aim point. It is a great drill for developing a strong technique to hit on a line. It does not help you read the green, but that is a different skill that you will need to develop. Hitting through a gate or trough is definitely a drill worth practicing. My drill: Advance Golf Drill – Putting has worked for my game and I still use it periodically when I practice.
Distance control is very important. Knowing how hard to hit a ball to ensure it has the energy to drop in the hole is important. Additionally, it is important not to crush your ball so far past the hole that the return putt is a knee-knocker. Rick Shiels offers a great drill and in my article: How To Properly Judge The Distance On A Long Putt I use a variation that is for longer putts, but the fundamental premise of the drills are the same.
Lastly, the drill that is used above is what I call the “Star Drill” and my article Golf Infographic – 3-6-9 Putting Drill offers a more detailed description. My variation to this putting around is based on how Phil Mickelson practices his short game. This is not a new drill, but very beneficial, especially if the surface you are putting on is not entirely flat.
The idea of honing our putting drill for aim, distance control, and consistency is nothing new. The above drills help develop a strong foundation with the flat stick. I recommend that every player spend some focused putting practice (regardless of the drills) instead of always banging the ball around the putting green. These and other putting drills will lower your score or at least build the confidence to sink putts from all distances.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!