So you want to become a better putter? We all do! The problem is most golfers don’t really know how to improve their putting. They go the practice green and hit putt after putt without a plan, thought, or target and expect to get better. If this sounds familiar here are 3 great drills that will make a huge difference in your results on the greens. The difference in good putting and bad putting can be as simple as turning bad practice into good practice. Use these 3 drills to avoid wasting you practice time.
Chalk Line Drill 3 FootersThe #1 key to making short putts is aim. If you can aim your putter face at the target you’ll have a really good chance of rolling the ball there. Otherwise you’ll have to manipulate the stroke to get the ball back online. The problem with aim is that most golfers don’t think about it and they never practice it (the most important aspect of short putting and people don’t practice it, go figure). To stand out from the crowd and never miss another 3 footer, use this drill that involves a simple chalk line. Pick up a chalk line from the hardware store (it only costs about $5). Find a flat, straight 3 foot putt and snap the line to create a line from the middle of the cup. Now place a ball on the line and use it to practice your aim. You’ll get immediate feedback on where your putter face is aimed (you may be shocked) and will also get immediate feedback on the roll of your golf ball as the ball must roll down the line to go in. The chalk line drill is the best drill you can do improve your putting so do it over and over to sharpen your aim.
String Drill for 8 FootersAs we move from 3 foot putts to 8 foot putts aim is still important but now we must add in speed and the ability to see the line. The key to making 8 foot putts is to get the ball started on a good line and give it a chance to go in. They won’t all go in as PGA Tour players only make about 50% but if you give it a chance, you’ll make your fair share. To do the string drill take some string and wrap it around 2 pencils or stakes leaving about 10 feet of string. Next put one pencil in the green behind the hole and the other 10 feet away on the other side of the hole. You now have the string suspended above the line of the putt. Roll putts down the string using it as a guide for the line. This drill is great because it gives you immediate feedback on your aim and the line of the putt. It also provides feedback on the path of your putter. When you hit putts the ball should roll down the string and into the hole.
Look at the Hole Drill for Lag Putts
Now we’re onto lag putts and the key to successful lag putting is rolling the ball the correct speed. Anyone who’s ever hit a 50 foot putt knows that this is easier said than done. The size and speed of the putting stroke are what controls how far the ball rolls on the green. Unfortunately too many golfers get caught up in making their stroke the exact perfect size on lag putts. This leads to over thinking and not having enough feel for the putt. Think to when you throw a baseball or football. You don’t think about how hard to throw it, you just feel it. This drill gets you into the mindset of feeling the putt. Setup to 30, 40, or 50 foot putt like normal then look at the hole like you normally would. Instead of looking back at the ball hit the putt with your eyes focused on the putt. It sounds strange but is really effective. You’ll find yourself not worrying about how big the stroke is and your thoughts will be on feeling the ball roll the correct distance. This method is very effective and you’ll be surprised at how good you become and hitting putts without looking. So stop wasting your practice time and start becoming a better putter. Use these 3 drills the next time you practice and you’ll be on your way to better results on the greens.
Clay Hood is a PGA Golf Professional and Co-Founder/Marketing Director for Precision Pro Golf. Clay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.