The best golfers understand the importance of the short game, particularly when it comes to putting. The difference between a memorable round and an average round oftentimes comes down to inches, not yards. With the proper techniques, you can become a solid putter.
Here are three quick drills to improve the reliability of your putting stroke.
1. Clock drill. This drill is meant to improve short putts. Place three balls in a line at three, six, and nine feet from the hole similar at the twelve, three, six and nine positions on a clock. Start with the three-footer at the twelve o’clock position then move to the six and nine footers from that position. Then move to the three o’clock position until you’ve made all three putts from all four positions. If you miss a putt, begin again. This drill teaches consistency under pressure as you move around the clock. It also improves distance control.
2. Ladder drill. The ladder drill improves putting from longer distances and helps with distance control. Place a tee in the ground and then place subsequent tees in a line at 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet and 40 feet away. Stepping up to the 10-foot mark, hit a putt to the first tee which is, in essence, where the hole would be. Then move to the other distances to hit a 20-footer, then a 30-footer and so on. The idea is to get the ball to stop as close to the desired distance as possible. Then, reverse the process. Placing all balls at the first tee (the baseline), hit a 40-foot putt, followed by a 30-foot putt, 20-foot putt and, finally, a 10-foot putt. At the conclusion, you have successfully opened and closed the ladder. This drill helps decrease the dreaded three-putt.
3. Path drill. Many amateurs push or pull the putt offline. This is caused from an in-to-out or out-to-in swing path. The path drill can help correct that. Find a flat area on the green and place two clubs or yardsticks on the ground just slightly wider than the putter head. Start hitting putts. If the putter hits any of the guides, that tells you which direction you are getting the putter head out of line. Keep your putter head low and practice a smooth tempo. Better alignment means more sunk putts.