Three Stroke-Saving Putting Drills

Sinking more putts, as I’ve said in my golf tips, is the key to quickly lowering your golf handicap. You use your putter more than any other club in the bag. Think about it. Two-putting each hole during a round means you used your putter 36 times. That’s anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent of most scores. Yet the average golfer spends far less time practicing his or her putting than working on his driving or chipping.

If that’s you, then you need to make the most of your time on the practice green. Develop a routine practicing your putting that makes use of every minute you’re on the green. Try sinking every putt you take, unless you’re practicing your lag putting. And include drills in your practice routine designed to improve your putting fundamentals. Below are three great putting drills I’ve used in my golf lessons over the years designed to hone your putting skills.

Steady Head Drill

Among the most common mistakes I see in my golf lessons is a player moving his or her head while putting. We all know we should keep our heads still during a putt. And many of us do. But some players still have a hard time doing it. They look up to see where the ball is going once they’ve hit the putt. That’s only natural. Moving your head hampers accuracy. To put well, you have to keep your head down and steady throughout the stroke. The Steady Head drill teaches you that.

Assume your normal putting stance, with your eyes fixed directly over the ball. Have your partner hold your head while you hit the putt, releasing it only after you’ve made contact with the ball. Keep looking at the spot where the ball was after you’ve made contact and count to three. Then look up to see where the ball went. Some teachers recommend staring at the spot where the ball was until you hear the ball fall in the cup. That works, too.

Eyes Closed Drill

Golf teachers often talk about “feel” in their golf instruction sessions. All great putters have great feel when it comes to putting. It’s among the most important attributes you can develop when it involves the flat stick Your goal, once you’ve determined your line and assessed your speed requirements, is to remember the feel of a good putting stroke when you hit the ball. Feel can only be developed through practice. This drill helps you develop more feel.

You’ll need a partner for this drill. After you’ve taken your putting stance and fixed your eyes directly over the ball, have your partner putt his hand between your eyes and the ball, blocking you vision. Now putt the ball. If you don’t have a partner, close your eyes just before hitting the ball.

This drill encourages you to really feel the movement of your arms. You may fined that the slower they move, the more consistent your putting. Plus. it’s a great exercise for learning distance control. Hit 10 putts with someone holding their hand in front of your face or with your eyes closed. See how many you can sink. Then try another spot on the green.

Ball Between The Knees Drill

Another common putting error I see in my golf lessons is a lack of stability. To putt well consistently, you must have great stability. Unfortunately, weekend golfers tend to move their lower bodies when they putt. That’s a fatal mistake, but one that an be corrected with the help of a big rubber ball.

Take your normal putting stance on the practice green. Then wedge a rubber ball between your legs. Now squeeze the ball slightly with your thighs. Keeping the ball tight between your legs creates a solid foundation for your putting. Now hit some putts. Hitting putts this way helps develop a real feel for stability, essential to achieving a consistent putting stroke.

Work on these three drills from a variety of spots on the practice drill. They encourage better putting by ingraining three key putting fundamentals. If you keep practicing them, you’ll eventually sink more putts per round, lowering your scores and golf handicap. You take more shots per round with your putter than any other club in your back. Make them all good ones.