Hello folks and welcome to this weeks Tips & Tricks. Even though its been a strange year so far we are pretty much in peak golfing season and therefore we should hopefully be spending lots of time on the golf course. This week I would like to share with you some putting advice that could save you some costly shots and prevent the dreaded 3 and 4 putts (or more) when you’re on the green.
How many of you actually practice your putting with some structure at any time? some of you will say yes but I know most of you are thinking no. I have spent hours on the putting not only practicing my stroke but also learning how to read greens and control the speed so when I’m on a golf course I have a good chance of holing any putt or at worst 2 putting. Lots of my players record their stats and on most of them I see considerably higher numbers than desired when it comes to putting. It may seem harsh but in my opinion if you have more than 36 putts in 18 holes of golf you’re literally throwing shots away. So how can we practice to improve the chance of getting down in one or two shots on the green.
These drills can be used in practice and immediately prior to playing. There are three drills so ill explain what they are for and how to set them up.
This drill is mainly for distance control and is a great way to get the pace of the greens. You only get one chance to get the speed correct when you’re on the course so it annoys me when I see people with a few balls putting to the same hole from the same spot. Complete waste of time! So set up a 3ft, 6ft, 9ft and 12ft putt then start with the closest putt. Try to get it in the hole or as close as possible with the speed, then gradually move back each time trying to do the same thing. When you have completed it start again or go and set it up to another hole. Try some uphill, some downhill, see if you can read the pace on every single shot.
This drill is to practice holing out and should hopefully build some confidence before heading onto the course. How often are you faced with a tricky putt from about 3ft when you’re on the course? Set up the balls surrounding the hole at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 on a clock face about a putter length away from the hole and see how many in a row you can drain. Try to pick a hole that’s on a bit of a slope so every putt is different. Try to get them all going into the hole at the same speed.
This drill will help to ensure a centred strike on the putter face and will help roll the ball on a straight line towards the target. Set up with some tees just outside the width of your putter and line up the middle of the ball with the middle of the clubface. Then line some tees as a gate just wide enough to fit a ball through and maybe a few mm wider. Choose a straight putt for this and try to roll the ball in a straight line through the gates towards the hole. If your putter hits one of the tees through impact your strike location would have moved, therefore not rolling the ball in a straight line. If the ball hits the gates on the way towards the hole the ball hasn’t started on line. Start with some small putts and gradually make it longer.
Putting is a game within a game and considered an art form. You have to practice to know what works for you but a good putt will only go in the hole when it’s travelling on a good line with a good speed. Wrong direction it will miss, wrong speed it will miss. Therefore understanding the speed of the greens when you turn up to any golf course is crucial. If I only had 20 minutes to warm up before the biggest tournament of my life I would spend all of it on the putting green, that’s how important understanding the speed of the greens is.
If you would like me to look at anything in relation to your putting you know where I am.
Happy golfing and hopefully you will see more putts dropping throughout the rest of the season.