Putting Tips and Drills are the foundation of a good golf game. As, I have stated in other articles on this site I believe the putter is the most important club in your bag. You use it more than any other club in any round so practicing your putting and honing your stroke is Paramount in cutting strokes that are wasted on the putting surface in misses that should have been made.
In this article I will attempt to bring you putting tips and drills that have helped me over the years to become a good putter. I have also found that not all tip drills fit every player so check them out and see what fits your putting style.
How To Get Your opponent To Give You More Of Those Short Putts
Ever been in a match and your opponent just will not give you a putt no matter how short it is? Sometimes it is understandable not giving a putt. If it is to win the hole or to beat you by one stroke I can get that. How about if it has some severe break in it, I can get that also, especially if it is to win. But hole after hole not even giving one is a little much for me and lacks sportsmanship.
So Let’s look at some things you can do to get your opponent to give you a few more putts of the short variety that are gimmes.
Slow down play
Express some surprise that you are not given the put, light-hearted though. Like “putting the pressure on huh?”
Mark your ball. We are just doing a mind game here now OK? This is a no brainier short putt.
Fix any ball marks and spike marks, even if they are not in your line.
Read the putt from every angle possible. Down the line, from opposite side of cup, from right and left of putt line.
LOL this getting good. Walk around the putt again and check line.
Line up your site line on the ball several times.
Begin putting set up and back off and check your line again.
Restart putting set up and take several practice strokes.
Address the ball and tape it in the hole.
As you are retrieving your ball just say, light-hearted again, wow that was a hard putt to read.
Get the picture? Do this a couple times and I guarantee your opponent will be giving you a few more of those short gimme puts and you can move on to the next hole and play on.
The Flamingo Drill
As we age our balance becomes not as good as it used to be. This unconscious sway from side to side will wreck a putt.
During practice put a few balls on the putting surface in front of you and place your feet together. Raise one heel up, does not matter which one, and stand motionless for a few seconds. If you sway you will fall over. Your body will adjust to this one legged stance and become stabilized.
As you get used to standing on one leg try a putt. Stay focused on your balance as you stroke. Do this several times and return to your normal set up and see if you are able to maintain a good stable position as you stroke a put.
Consistence use of this drill will produce a well-balanced stance and more consistent strikes of the ball online to your target.
The Spoke Wheel Drill
We Have all seen this drill and maybe used it ourselves a few times.
Several tees are stuck into the surface around the hole like the face of a clock, say 4 feet from the hole, and you use the tees as a maker as to where the next putt will be taken. Move around the circle and see how many putts you can make or up the difficulty, if you miss a putt you have to start from the beginning. The goal is to go all the
way around without missing a put. This is a good drill in that very rarely is the line the same 360 degrees around the hole.
Now Let’s up the difficulty a little more. Make all the tee locations a random length and random spacing between locations. From a foot to five feet and do the same drill. How many times do we get a do over on a putt? Never, So why practice all the same length putts or use multiple balls. I used to do this with three balls, putting from the same spot with not
a very good success rate. Now I find that only using one ball and focusing on the one opportunity to make the putt is much more successful.
Most putting practice greens have several locations of either a cup cut or a post defining its location. Try one ball and go around the circuit of locations and try to two putt each location from long first putts to some shorter ones. This will definitely make you a better lag putter. Again only use one ball.
As a general rule the set up should have your:
Eyes over the ball
Hands under your shoulders
Hips over heels
Your lead arm inline with the putter shaft
OK, those are general rules. If you watch pros on TV there is a lot of variation and those rules. Too me putting is a feel and comfort setup and stroke. If it does not feel good and comfortable you will not make many putts. So start with the basics and go from there. However, if you very too far from them you will likely harm more than help.
There are thousands of putting technekes out there but I have found these will work for most players. Following these on a regular basis will make you a much better putter and lower that score and handicap.