When it comes to golf skills everyone wants to improve their drive, making it longer and faster, but if you are really serious about improving your game, putting is a skill that should not be overlooked as it’s equally as important.
If you want to lower your strokes then being an effective putter will really help you to improve your game, so try practicing your putting skills by using these tried and proven drill techniques, and you will soon benefit.
- The clock
This drill helps to work on your putting confidence, your putting rhythm, and how well you can play when the pressure is on.
You need to place 12 balls around the putting green hole, around 2 feet apart each time, so they get further and further away from the hole. Start putting with the closest ball and work your way backwards.
If you miss, you have to start again from the beginning. Once you get to the last two balls, which will be the furthest away, it will simulate being at the 18th hole making a long putt to win the game. Keep practicing this drill until you can putt all 12 perfectly.
- The one-two-three
This drill is to practice your rhythm and help make your putting strokes strong and consistent every time as that is the key to good putting skills.
This time, you only need three balls and place them at three feet, six feet and nine feet distances away from the hole, in a straight line. The aim is to put the three feet ball first, then move to the six feet, then the nine feet, consistently.
The aim is to get the majority of your putts within ten feet of the hole, every time, to boost your rhythm, stroke and confidence.
- The wooden plank
This practice shows if you are hitting the ball square on the putter and tests how straight the roll of the ball is. You will need a thin plank of wood at least a meter long. Place it along the line where you wish the ball to go; it needs to be around six feet back from the flag.
Putt the ball starting at the top of the plank and watch to see if the ball’s trajectory rolls straight along the wood edge all the way down. If it did, it means you hit the ball square on, if it didn’t then you need to practice.
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- The cardboard square
Another element of putting which needs practice is getting the speed correct, so your putt doesn’t end up way off course. This is a simple and easy drill to practice getting the ball to stop where you need it to.
Take a square piece of thin cardboard, say the size of a folder, and place it flat on the green, around seven feet away from you. It needs to lie flat. Practice putting towards the cardboard with the aim of getting the ball to stop on the cardboard.
With a flat, smooth surface it is difficult for the ball to stop unless the speed is just right. You can vary the distance you putt from to practice those tricky short shots.
- The Tiger
This particular type of putting drill was made famous by Tiger Woods and will help to improve the confidence you have in your own short putt skills. You need to take two tees and about four feet away from the hole, put them into the ground at a distance that is a little wider than your putter face. This is to create a small doorway for your putter to be able to pass through as you swing.
Then you need to practice hitting 12 putts with your dominant hand only, followed by six putts using your usual two handed swing. Every time you swing, your putter should be going straight through and out of the doorway. Repeat this with a set target in mind.
- The nine hole
This one helps you to practice longer length putts without stress and can give you the confidence you need in the game.
Place the ball at least 10 feet back from the hole to start with and then putt. Wherever the ball lands is fine, move it around one meter back from where it lands and then putt again. Keep repeating this until the ball lands in the hole.
Then you can try again but this time starting 20 feet away from the hole, and then 30 feet away from the hole, and keep repeating the drill
Putting is a key skill for any golfer to learn and practicing these drills over and over again will soon help you to improve your game and lower those all-important scores. By drilling, you can become more confident and more consistent with those vital putts.