Here’s how to Improve your Putting through Effective Practice
Hi guys. It’s time for a putting tip…
I know everybody knows that to improve your putting you need to practice. No kidding…really?
Ok, again, I’m a master of stating the obvious, but this begs the question: How do I Practice my Putting Effectively?
This is going to sound a lot like the post about approach shots improving your chipping because it’s the same idea.
For me, one of the weakest parts of my game is lag putting – I work on it a lot, but I still struggle with 3 putts. And, nothing burns me up faster than a 3 putt bogey! So, my strategy for improving lag putting is two-fold:
- Work on lag putting
- Work on short putts
Here’s how short putting skills help your lag putting…You have a wider margin for error on each lag putt or chip shot. Imagine that you could make anything you looked at from 6′ on in. Would you worry about a pesky 3 footer? I think not. Would the odds of you being up tight and tentative over a long lag putt be reduced if you felt less pressure to get the ball close? Of course it would.
So, let’s work on short putts…Here’s the best short putting drill I’ve ever heard; it’s called 4 for 4.
The diagram to the left shows how to set it up
The idea is to practice 4 foot putts with both straight and breaking putts until you feel VERY confident over these putts. Make no mistake about it, making these putts will absolutely make or break a round. And, if you do this consistently, your opponents will grow to dislike you intensely!! So here’s the drill…
Take 4 tees and find a spot on the practice green that has a hole cut with a bit of slope (the better you get, the more slope you should practice with). Begin by trying to see a putt that is straight up the hill. Use your putter to hit sample putts or just roll the ball with your hand. When you find it, put one tee in the ground about 4′ from the hole and directly down hill from it.
The next step is to walk to a spot 4′ from the hole with a straight downhill putt. Place the tee in the ground to mark the spot. Do the same with the side hill putts until you have 4 tees in the ground at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. 12 should be straight down hill, 3 and 9 should be opposite breaking side hill putts and 6 should be straight up the hill.
The game starts at 6 o’clock with the easiest putt (straight up the hill). You’re trying to hole as many putts in a row as you can. A perfect score is 4 in a row from each tee. Make 4 putts then move to the next position (whatever order you like). When you are playing with a practice partner, the turns change when one player misses. Whoever completes the 16 putts in the fewest strokes wins.
As simple as this sounds, you will find that the pressure mounts when you have a few under your belt. I can’t tell you how much this will help your game and your scores. So, get out to the practice green and give these putting tips a try, you won’t regret it.