If you’re into golf, you’d probably know that putting is one the trickiest shot for a player to master. It might not look like much for the viewers but the player knows what kind of determination and fineness it takes.
And for every serious golfer, becoming better at putting is one of the main goals of their practice sessions.
So, in this post, we’re going to look at 11 of the finest putting drills, directly adapted from the professionals’ book.
What is Putting?
Before we go into the drills, let’s shed some light on what putting looks like when broken down. Every golfer carries at least one putter in their bags. These are the shortest golf clubs out there with two main types of clubheads.
The narrow kind is known as blades and the bulky kind is known as mallets. They both have their appeals for different playing styles.
To play the perfect putt, a player must be physically in control of all the major muscles used to make a putting stroke. And drills with a putter can help you achieve that.
11 Best Putting Drills in Golf
In this section, we’re going to look at each of the drills, what they do, and the steps to perform them. Without any further ado, let’s get started.
1. The Clock Drill
If your putting lacks finesse in short distances, this might be the drill for you. The clock drill helps you improve your consistency in the 3 to 8 feet range.
Moreover, it increases the confidence in putting green immensely! If you practice long enough, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your short puts.
Here are the steps on how to do it.
- For this drill, you’ll need 12 golf balls and an empty putting green. You need to place 3 balls on each side of the hole at different distances. The final setup should look like four lines of golf balls are going away in four directions from the hole.
- Start putting from the closest balls on each side. So, you have a total of 3 sets consisting of 4 shots around the hole at each distance.
- Keep hitting until you finish all 12 balls. Repeat and don’t forget to keep track. You’ll need the data to compare the improvements.
2. The Meter-Long Drill
This is a pretty common drill among players who struggle with their putting. It’s known in different names like the meter stick drill and the 3 footer drill as well.
This one improves your putting skills on a 1-meter distance. You’ll need a meter-long ruler or a dedicated putting aid.
- Place one end of the ruler on the edge of the golf hole. You can also practice it indoors with a simple putting mat.
- Place the ball on the other end of the ruler.
- Grab your putter and start practicing. If you try to keep the ball rolling along the ruler at all times, you’ll eventually end up developing amazing skills to control the direction of putting shots.
- You can change up the distance from 1 meter to shorter if you want even more mastery over short distances.
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3. The Five Feet Drill
This is undoubtedly one of the simplest putting drills out there. You pick a putting green on the course and carry a few extra balls with you for this drill.
- Pick any putting green and place the balls 5 feet away from the hole.
- Work your way around the hole and try to put all of the balls into the hole.
- This is a great way of understanding the difference between uphill, downhill, and cross-angle shots. You’ll also develop a better sense of how to read the green.
4. The Wedge Drill
Believe it or not, if you’re inside the Green or on the outskirts of the fairway, you don’t necessarily need a putter. A wedge can do the job just fine. In fact, Tiger Woods has been seen putting with his wedge during practice.
- Instead of a putter, take out the wedge from your bag.
- Other aspects are similar to putting conditions.
5. Gate-Putting Drill
This is another Tiger Woods classic. He basically creates a ‘gate’ for the putter to go through and hit the ball. If done correctly, the control you’ll gain on your putts will be phenomenal!
For this drill, you’ll need tees along with balls.
- Pick a distance from the hole. Place your putter on the ground and drive 2 tees into the ground covering a little more distance than the putter’s head length.
- Practice hitting the ball from the middle of the ‘gate’ without hitting the tees.
- You can practice this drill both with 1 hand or 2 hands.
6. Pull Back Putting Trick
The story behind the name is that you pull your ball back 1 putter length for every failed shot. For example, if you’re playing from 10 feet away from the hole and hit it only up to 4 feet, you’ll take the ball and place it one putter length away.
- Pick any distance from the hole to start the drill. Anything over 10 feet works better.
- Hit the first shot and see how close you can get to the hole.
- If you miss, pick the ball up and place it one putter length away.
- Keep playing until you make the hole. And keep track of your scores.
7. Behind the Hole
This one is more of a distance control rather than direction control. But if you can manage to hole the ball during practice, it’s all that better.
For this drill, you’ll need an extra club or an alignment stick.
- Place the extra club about 1 foot behind the hole. Now, hit putts to the hole and see how much the ball rolls if you miss it.
- Your goal is to not touch the club or alignment stick.
- Over time, close in on the distance to improve finesse over the shots.
8. String Over Ball
String over the ball is one of the complex drills, usually reserved for professionals. The main reason is that it takes quite a bit of setup before you can start.
You’ll need a string, a stick to put into the ground a few putters.
- You’ll need a stick with a sharp end to put into the ground and tie one end of the string. Make sure that the course authority is okay with you doing this.
- Tie the other end of the string with something behind you. It should be in a way that you can see the ball right under the string.
- The goal of this drill is to adjust your clubface angle so that you don’t miss a single putting shot. The string works as a visual aid in finding out what you may be doing wrong.
9. One Handed Putt
In our opinion, one handed putts are under-appreciated. It’s just that we’re so used to seeing players putt with both hands, it doesn’t occur to us that it can be done with one hand.
The truth is, Tiger Woods putts one handed all the time during his practice sessions.
- Stand in your regular putting position.
- Place the ball where you would normally do while putting.
- Now, instead of using both hands, use one hand for the entire swing. Keep the other hand behind your back to keep the balance.
10. The 100 Putts
This might look like a no-brainer to a lot of you. But if you believe that practice can make a man perfect, then you’d understand the purpose of this drill. It’s designed to make you better at putting by bulldozing through your problems.
- Make some time aside and pick a quiet corner at the practice range or the course. You can even do it in your home if you want.
- Set a tee in the ground, preferably in the 3 to 5 feet range.
- Hit the ball with focus more on the form and the swing, rather than the result.
- Now, repeat this step 99 times more!
- Feel accomplished when you complete 100 putts from short distance.
11. Putting Down the Track
Remember how you made a gate for the putter in one of the drills? Now, you need to make a track for your ball to roll. Two simple alignment sticks will do the job just fine.
- Place two alignment sticks parallel on each edge side of the hole. You need to roll the ball between these alignment sticks.
- Try different putters to see what kind of difference they make in terms of speed, direction, and overall quality.
- This drill can be a fantastic way of figuring out your strengths and weaknesses while putting.
We’ve said it countless times before. We’re going to say it again. Putting is the most complex golf shot there is.
We understand your frustration if you can’t seem to master it yet.
However, if you follow the drills we’ve shared in this post, we can assure you that you’ll see improvements soon!
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Thanks for reading today’s article!
Nick Foy – Golf Instructor