Putting is one of those skills you can practice anywhere you want. These are very short distance shots that also happen to be one of the most important shots of a golf round. Players agree on all fronts that the better one’s short game is, the better they are at scoring low.
The problem with putting is you can’t master this skill immediately. It’s like fine wine. The more you age it, the better it becomes. As winter is right around the corner and most courses will be shut down, you can use this time to age your putting skills with a few simple indoor drills.
These drills are not particularly designed for the winter. Rather, they’re designed for indoors. So, if it rains on the day you had plans to hit the course, you can spend your time inside the house doing what you love.
Also, many players agree that putting drills help them focus on their daily lives. It’s also proven to be a de-stress activity by many players. Whatever your reason is, you can rest assured that only good things will come your way if you practice putting indoors.
Having a Routine is Important
One of the key elements of succeeding with any drills is consistency. And consistency can only be ensured with a proper routine. We might be focusing on putting drills in this post, but it’s only one of the shots in golf. It means you have other shots to practice and live your regular life at the same time.
To balance everything out, we highly recommend creating a routine for yourself. it’s something that only you can do after considering your lifestyle and daily schedule. You can even pick some of the drills from this post and make them part of your routine and keep the rest for another alternate routine.
No matter how you approach it, the only important thing is that you have a routine. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into the best indoor putting drills.
Best Indoor Putting Drills
For the drills we’re going to discuss in this section, you may need to purchase a few training aids. All of these are quite affordable and very effective investments for golf players of all levels. Also, we’ll share a DIY alternative to the aids whenever possible.
Four Ball Distance Control
One of the two main components of putting is distance control. Even the best players miss the holes from time to time. What you don’t want is to go beyond the hole or finish too soon. The more you practice this drill, the more you’ll be acquainted with all the different types of putt shots.
For this drill, you will need golf balls, a measuring tape, and a way to block off an area inside your home.
How to Perform:
- Use anything to block off a square area in your living room or somewhere else where you have some empty space. Four glasses, four tees, or simply masking tape will do the job. Block off a 3×3 or 4×4 foot area.
- Place your four golf balls inside the area at varying distances. The closest ball to the target should be three feet away from the hole. Use the measuring tape to place the balls at different intervals.
- Now, play your usual putting shot. Your goal, of course, is to reach as close as to the target. For the first three shots, you don’t need to make any major adjustments to your playing. For the final ball which is also the farthest from the target, you need to control the amount of force you apply. Your goal with the 4th ball is to not go beyond the target.
- The reason we’re specifically targeting the 4th ball is because many players miscalculate the swing speed if the ball is outside their putting range on the green.
Mastering the Putting Path
The final component of the putting is the direction. You need to get as close to the target as possible, right? So, along with controlling your distance, you’ll need to control the direction.
For this drill, you can use any two objects to create a path for your ball to roll. It can be two phonebooks, two cardboard boxes, or dedicated putting aids for direction control.
How to Perform:
- Place the two objects side by side with a gap between them. The gap should be aligned with whatever object you’re using as the target. The gap should also be wide enough for the ball to roll and have some wiggle room at the same time. Because remember, the surface of the green might not always be level.
- Take your favorite putter and target the narrow path between the two objects. The drill looks simple enough at the beginning. But if you have inconsistency issues or direction issues with your putting, it’ll become prominent soon enough. You might be hitting the objects instead of the path for over 50% of your shots!
- Keep practicing until you improve your odds. You should target to go through the gap every time you practice because the real world conditions will not be as straightforward as this.
Mastering the Putter Path
This is a very similar drill to the previous one. However, instead of targeting the ball, you’ll be targeting your putter. You need to set up the two boxes or objects in the same way. The gap between them should be wide enough for your putter to fit.
This drill targets your control over the club. The more consistently you can swing your putter, the more likely you’re to lower your score. So, if you give this drill enough time during the winter, you can see noticeable improvements in your playing.
How to Perform:
- Set the two objects up as before and place the ball right in the middle of the path.
- Take your putter and start swinging. You may feel some discomfort for the first few times because you’re not used to swinging your clubs in such a controlled environment. It’s all part of the drill.
- Try to keep the club face still during this drill. You can record yourself if you want to for future analyzing purposes.
The Pace Control Drill
It’s not always true that the faster you swing the faster your ball will roll. The golf ball will go at its own pace. You’re definitely in control of how it happens and that’s why this drill is so important. It’s designed to give you a better sense of your playing as well as better control of the ball’s pace.
For this drill, you’ll need some extra tees or some alignment sticks. Our recommendation would be to go with the tees because they’re less distracting and more effective in this case.
Basically, you’ll be creating a line both behind and ahead of the ball with the tees. This line will be very close to your ball’s rolling path but it won’t obstruct the ball in any way. The tees should be at a fixed distance from the ball. For example, if you put the first tee 6 inches in front of the ball, the tee on the back should also be 6 inches away.
How to Perform:
- Line up the tees as instructed.
- Swing the putter as you would normally do.
- Notice the swing path you’re taking. There is a good chance that it won’t be perfectly aligned with the tees. That’s what you need to target.
- Practice the swings at varying distances while trying to align the swing path with the tees. This will help you control your direction and pace at the same time.
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The Pencil Drill
This is also a swing correction drill for players who are struggling with their swing path. It’s also one of the simplest drills on our list. You just need a pencil to perform it.
How to Perform:
- Position your ball on the golf mat as you would normally do.
- Place a pencil a few inches behind the ball, right in the middle, pointing to the target. The pencil and the center of the ball should be perfectly aligned. Believe it or not, this is the most crucial step of the drill!
- Go into your regular stance. Instead of full putting swings, do mini swings starting from the far end of the pencil. You’re basically aligning your shot with the pencil.
- If the shots feel natural to you, you’re in luck. It means your putting skills are better than you thought and you have very good direction control.
- But if it doesn’t feel normal, it means you have some issues with club face consistency. Keep practicing this drill. Once you’re comfortable, switch to your full swing and see the results.
We’ve said it numerous times in the past. We’re going to say it again. Short game is the most important part of golf. Period. As one of the main elements of the short game, putting should be one of your main priorities. Practice these indoor putting drills we’ve shared in this guide to improve your skills and lower your score.
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Thanks for reading today’s article!
Nick Foy – Golf Instructor