There’s something serene and satisfying about a well-executed putt. You find your target. You aim for it. You gauge the surrounding terrain. You prepare your stance. You plan your stroke. You swing. You watch the ball gently roll into the hole.
There’s also something defeating and humiliating about a poorly-executed putt. You’ve got the confidence. You’ve got the determination. But something just…happens. The ball glides past the hole. All of a sudden, the round you thought was over isn’t.
Five Helpful Drills
If you’ve found yourself in this situation (and what golfer hasn’t?), it’s a sign you need to work on strengthening and improving your putts. With a honed putting technique, along with the flexibility and focus essential to playing a great game of golf, you can approach the last stroke of your game with greater confidence.
There are hundreds of drills that golfers recommend for making more putts. We’ve gathered five easy, helpful drills for when you’re out on the practice green. Think of them as old friends you can rely on when you’re feeling rusty or concerned about your game.
This simple drill is great for working on a more measured putt. Set up a pair of tees putter-length apart. Six inches in front of those 2 tees, set up 2 more tees ball-width apart. Think of this as your “gate.” Prepare your stance and sight your target as usual, then putt with the goal of only brushing up against this “gate” through which the ball rolls.
2. Straight Lines
Great aim is critical to a great putt. Work on your aim when putting 3 feet and in by setting up a straight line toward the hole (some players recommend using a chalk line) and putt balls while trying to follow the straight line you’ve set up. Then, try putting without the chalk line and see how straight you can keep the ball rolling.
Drills shouldn’t have to feel like chores. Make putting practice more engaging with this drill. Take three balls and set them up at lines 2, 4, 6, and 8 feet from the hole (just like the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions on a clock). Then start putting. Your goal: make all 12 putts in a row. Miss one? Go back and start from the beginning.
Stabilizing your body and making only necessary movements are essential aspects of a successful putt. One drill to help you work on your stability involves practicing your putts while keeping one leg in the air. See if you can make a dozen successful putts while destabilized, and you’ll be better prepared when you’re putting with both feet planted firmly on the green.
5. One-arm Putts
One-arm putts make look strange, but this handicapped drill will help you focus on your hand-eye coordination. You’ll also get the opportunity to practice a smooth stroke, because if that breaks down and you end up putting while feeling tight, you’re never going to putt properly when it matters most.
It’s one thing to just read about these drills. It’s another thing to actually take the time to incorporate them into your practice routine.
Regardless of the putting drills you choose, it’s important to remember that smooth strokes matter. So in addition to working on your putts, make sure you’re practicing a smooth swing. One way to help with this is swingOIL. A great-tasting supplement drink designed by golfers for golfers, swingOIL has 7 key ingredients that help golfers get loose and swing smooth. So they can always play their best.
Even when they’re just practicing their putts.