Putting is often looked upon by beginners as an unimportant part of a golfer’s game, but in actual fact it is the most important. It’s no use being able to drive the ball 300+ yards if you can’t even manage to sink a simple putt. It’s the numero uno part of a golfer’s game and it’s essential if you want to start to score well. On the professional tour putting is at its most important. A heck of a lot of player’s drive the same distance (unless you’re Tiger obviously) and they need to sink their putts when they get the chance. So here are a few drills that will help you sink your putts and best of all shave your handicap.
The Roll Technique
Now this is a lot harder than it sounds. Many people duff their putts because the ball doesn’t grip the surface and bounces along it, so listen up to make sure you get it right. The mistake that many players make (and probably you, because you wouldn’t be reading this otherwise) is they try and play the ball when it’s too far back in their stance. The ball being too far back when putting leads to the putter face coming at the ball from a steeper angle than necessary, causing the ball to bounce on impact.
To get the ball rolling smoothly you need to stand with the ball a little further up in your stance, so that when you connect the putter is already on its way up. The ideal place for this is just inside the leading foot (if you’re a right hander it will be your left and right for left hander) and you will notice that it’s directly in line with the left eye for rights and the right eye for lefts.
Surround the Hole with Balls
Now, the key to this technique is to find an area on a practice green where there is a slope surrounding the hole. Once you have found the ideal spot you need to place several balls around the hole at a radius of around 2 feet. 8 balls should fit perfectly around the hole. Once you’ve placed the balls round the hole you will be left with 8 short putts which have different breaks to them. The aim here is to keep going round until you can make every putt without failure. If you miss a shot you start again. And once you have the 2 feet distance mastered, you can then graduate to 3 feet, and so on and so forth. Always remember, practice makes perfect and the more you sink these tricky little shots the more confident you will be on the green.
Close Your Eye
Many players who are unsuccessful at putting generally are not because they move their heads and their bodies when in fact you have to keep them as still as possible. To combat this and to begin getting used to not moving your body or your head a good technique is to close one of your eyes (left eye for a right handed player and vice versa). Now that your eye is closed take a few practice strokes to get a feel for it, and then approach the ball ready for the putt.
It may seem very tough to see the hole, that’s because it is 🙂 You don’t need to see the hole on your stroke anyway. Just make sure your focusing on the ball with your right or left eye (depending on what hand you are) until you see the putter connect with the golf ball. Using this technique will be sure to stop any untold movement of the head and the body throughout the stroke.
Avoid Breaking the Wrists
This little drill is great for increasing your putting consistency. What you do is you stick a tee in the end of your putter grip, and as you take your stroke make sure that tee stays even with or slightly ahead of your putter head throughout your stroke. If the tee passes the head of the putter then it’s likely you’ve broken your wrists and you’ve been the victim of inconsistency.