Putting should be a simple game, a calm simple action with a short back and forth motion. It sounds so simple and it should be, but it’s not. Wouldn’t it be good if putting was in fact as simple as it sounds? Well, if you put these drills into action your putting game will improve and your scores will go down and you’ll be eager to get to the green so you can work with the putter and your new-found confidence.
The pros know how important putting is to a good round of golf… now you do too!
The famous clock drill
This is probably one of the best know putting drills to improve short putting. Select 12 balls to the putting green and place them around the cup, 4 at a time at an equal distance from the hole (like north, south, east and west). Place the next 4 another 3 feet away from the hole on the same line as the first 4. Repeat this process until you have placed all 12 balls.
Now, starting with the 4 closest to the hole, putt them all in the hole BUT every time you miss start the drill again.
The 1-2-3 drill
This is a very common drill. You’ll see all the pros using it before the start of a tournament.
Place 3 balls in a line away from the hole each 3 feet apart. Knock the nearest ball into the hole, then the second, then the third. You may want to start with a shorter distance between each ball to get the feel of the putting surface and increase the distance as your confidence grows.
Made famous by Tiger Woods, this drill ensures you strike the ball using the putter’s sweet spot. It also ensures that your putter head goes straight back and straight through the gate.
At a distance of about 4 feet from the hole, set up a “gate” of two golf tees parallel to the hole. They should be positioned just wider than your putter so that your putter can swing through the gate. Place a ball in the centre between the two tees, the idea being to hit balls into the hole without disturbing the tees. Try some one-handed putts too.
The Goldilocks drill
This drill focuses on the pace of your putt rather than the line to the hole.
Pick a target on the practice green about 20ft away – you’re going to hit three putts. Hit the first one a little too hard. Hit the second a little too soft. Now hit the third ball just right for pace. Repeat this drill and you will begin to notice the difference you exert on each hit and your pace control will improve. You will get a feel for the pace of the green.
The Two Ball drill
I know, this one may sound and will feel a bit odd but have a go – this drill is all about keeping the face of your putter square through impact.
Place two balls next to each other and putt them both at the same time. If you can get them to roll in the same direction with the same pace, then it means that the face of your putter is square to the target at impact. If one or other of the balls skews off on a different path, then this indicates the face of your putter is closed or open at impact. You’ll see from the video that the outer ball will ideally travel a little further than the inner ball – it is best to have a little more distance with the outer ball because the last thing you want to do is hit the ball with the hosel end of the clubface.
Have a go.
What is the point of doing putting drills?
The point is, if you never practice putting, preferably using proper drills like the pros, you will never improve. Just relying on that Sunday morning round will not improve your putting. And we all know how important putting is to your round of golf.
Putting drills will help to build your confidence, your alignment skills and your putting stroke.
I’m sure that you’ve realised by now just how important it is to work on and improve your putting. Keep on practising and try the drills to make it a bit more fun and you will start to see real improvements.
I'm Rob. I'm an avid golf enthusiast and golf tutor with over 40 years experience playing this beautiful but frustrating game. I'm here to offer advice (if you want it) and share my passion with golfers from around the world.