Simple Golf, Putting Practice
We keep these drills simple for a reason – if you can master the simple aspects of golf, you will be better than 99% of golfers that get caught up in all the different methods and techniques!
The best way to learn is to focus on one area, in this case we will focus on alignment and solid putts. Give yourself some time to absorb the information and do the at home practice before moving on to a different aspect.
The biggest mistake is focusing on the result of the putt. The only things you can control is your mindset, set up, and starting the putt on line.
Being relaxed, comfortable and executing the fundamentals are your only focus!
For best results, remember –
1. Keep it SIMPLE!
3. Consistently pay attention to minor details
If you can master the simple fundamentals described, you will beat your friends and colleagues in not time!
Fundamentals for Putting
Below is a refresher for your putting fundamentals.
Set up – most important aspect of putting is being comfortable. We will discuss the “fundamental” set up but if you can “be yourself” with any aspect of the game, it would definitely be putting! As you see in the pictures below, you want to stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your arms hanging directly below shoulders. Your head/eye position should be above the golf ball when you set up to the putt and look down over it.
Grip – The fundamental grip is really important because it helps the putter head stay square (pointed at the hole) when you hit the golf ball. You will see the picture below, and you want the putter to lie more in the ball of your hands, verse the fingers like we will describe in the full swing and short game portion.
Ball Position – because the putter swings on an “arc” (don’t think too much about that), the bottom of the putting stroke (when you hit the ball) is in the middle of your stance. Therefore, to hit it consistently solid and straight on putts, you want it in the middle of your stance.
Eye line – this is crucial for seeing the correct line over the putt. Your eyes need to be over the ball, down your target line.
Drill 1 – Set Up, Short Distance For Alignment
It is important to set up properly EVERY TIME you are hitting a putt or shot in golf. After you set up, you need to focus on your breathing and being aware of executing without thinking about your technique. I promise you, if you can be aware of this now, it will eliminate the frustration and bad golf down the road. Remember, set up properly, breath, and relax while holding the putter lightly in your hands!
Set up – Use same setup described above with alignment sticks
Pick a straight putt – when it roles on the ground it will roll straight, not curve to left or right
Place 3 balls, 4 feet away – on the straight putt line you chose
Make 10 putts in a row – from 3 ft.
Make 6 putts in a row – from 6 ft.
Drill 2, Eye line with gate for starting line
If you decide to purchase the eye line, you can put 2 tees slightly ahead of the ball that are roughly the width of the golf ball. This helps you determine if you are starting your ball on line through the gate. If you are starting your ball on line, hitting solid putts, you will make much more putts.
Go roughly 10 feet from the hole
Read the putt
Determine the starting line
Set the eye line appropriately
Make 3 in a row into the hole
The reason we focus on straight, short putts is because:
1. You are able to focus and improve your alignment from short distances
2. Build confidence by making putts you should make
Training Aids To Speed Up Progress
My favorite training aid for putting is the eye line. It is simple and makes a huge difference in your putting. This eye line device comes with additional features so you can focus on starting your ball down the target line as well.
Simulate Golf Course, Make It Zone
Now that we have dialed in the short putts, I want you to take 1 ball and hit different putts from 10-20 feet. These are the putts that will lower your scores on the golf course. If we can get comfortable from this distance, we will start to make a few of these per round.
1.Grab 1 ball
2.Play 18 holes from between 10-20 feet away from the hole.
3.You will chose a different hole for each putt to get different types of breaks and speeds
4.Before hitting each putt, look at your surroundings to determine which way the putt will break
5.Set up to the ball properly
6.Relax and hit the putt without thinking about technique
7.After the putt, gather feedback
8.Ask yourself, what would I do differently?
9.Take a practice stroke of what you should have done before going to putt the ball in the hole
10.Chose a different hole to putt to and repeat the process
The most helpful tip for me and the players I coach is thinking about keeping our body still while putting. Think about it, it is a really small swing, but you would be surprised how many people move their legs and other body parts around when putting! Keep your body still while you feel your arms swing, nothing but your arms are to be moving!
On short putts, keep your eyes looking at where the ball was until you hear the ball hit the bottom of the hole. This makes sure you don’t move too early, even pro’s do this when they putt!