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Favorite Practice: Putting Drills?

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What's your favorite putting drills to do on the practice green? Little games or other things to keep things fun? I've been working so hard on my iron play that I've been totally stinking it up on the greens, shooting my worst scores in a long time while striking the ball better than I have in a while. Go figure...

At any rate: What do you do to improve your putting, and how do you keep it fun?

I've been playing hole-to-hole on the practice green treating each flag as a par 2. We've got 9 of them so it's pretty much perfect. Sadly, I haven't broken par yet :/

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One way to make your putting better in the round is to make your putts shorter. To that end, find a friend and play "up and down" instead of just putting all the time. you each take a ball and throw it in the rough surrounding the putting green and pitch up to a hole. Lowest score wins. This is designed to make that first putt shorter by improving your wedge game around the greens. Again, each hole will be a par 2, so you can play against yourself as well.

Also, if you're blowing putts by or leaving them short, try practicing putting with your eyes closed and guess how far the ball rolled passed (or short). This will improve your feel.

If you're not getting the line right, try getting a little device to draw lines on your ball and line up each putt very methodically. I know it seems like it will take the fun out of putting, but when more of those putts start dropping, it will be more fun :)

Hope that helps!

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My favorite drill I use is not exciting, but it helps focus on my stoke. I put two tees in the ground with just enough room to swing my putter through, and just practice some short putts to make sure I'm square at contact and swinging right on my arc.

As for a fun putting game, I just saw a couple guys playing and tried it - it's pretty fun. You need a partner, and you pick two holes at least 10-15 feet apart. You each stand next to one of the holes, and take turns putting towards ther other person. Essentially, you're putting back and forth to each other, but aiming for the hole, and the first person to make it wins the hole. Then you switch spots.

I like this game because it's a bit different than just playing 1x1 towards the same hole. And it's fun to hit the putt, then have to make the adjustment on the speed, line, etc. before your partner beats you to it.

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I have been practicing my putting a lot latley, in fact I just go tback from my lunch break and went and putted for the whole hour. I get bored just hitting balls so what I have been doing is placing a tee at 2,4,6,8 feet from the hole. I then hit 3 balls starting from 2 feet and work back, if I miss a putt I have to go back to 2 feet and start over. I set a time limit (30 min) and if I get all the way back to 5 feet with out missing I get to stop at Mcdonalds on the way back to work for my lunch. If I don't make it then I have to eate the gross healthy diet food I packed in my lunch from home . Today I sit here eating salad

Also for 5-10 min before I leave I will practice long putts to the opposite side of the green trying to get as close to the fringe as I can.

Mark

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A couple of drills I have read and tried with nice success:

1. A partner is needed for this one. Put a tee in the ground 3 feet on each side of the hole. You and your partner compete to see who can sink 5 first from your chosen tee. This helps you with speed because you feel like you're in a race against time.

2. Lay an iron down about a foot from the hole. Your putt should have enough speed to get over the shaft.

Hope you have success with them

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Hmm. what to say, what to say. I just recently saw rocco mediate showing whats in his bag, and he showed a wedge that he's drawn on a little bit on the back. That gave me an idea. I took some of my clubs and a nice red sharpie and colored in some of the contours of the clubs, and I have to say that they look awesome. Now to my putter. I colored in all of the club except a little part that was the exact same width of the aiming line on the top of the putter. Went out and played a round. 24 putts in 18 holes. Amazing. Before that I had a high school lesson with some of my friends and the pro at the course (he's our high school golf coach this year), and we had a putting competition between 8 people. I won.

See, what you need to do is find a routine that you are comfortable with. Work with your putter to find what you are doing. When you set up to the ball, keep the putter in the same place, and walk around it. Is the face closed a little? is it open? Is the head flat on the ground? Work these things out.

After that is done, work on 40 footers and 4 footers. I am a big proponent of this method. Most players are able to 2-putt from 15-30 feet. But, if you practice 40 footers, and 4 footers, you are golden. If you can get a 40 foot putt inside of 4 feet, it's an automatic 2 putt. Hope you do well.

Corey

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I love the 3-footers drill. Put coins at four directions around the hole, 3 feet away. Dimes work great here. This way, you can set up 3-foot putts easily. Go around the hole and see how many in a row you can make, never attempting two consecutively from the same spot.

Nice thing is, 3 feet is usually easy to measure: your putter is likely within the neighborhood of 36" (3 feet).

I had a run a few weeks ago of 32 in a row. Earlier this week, I was up to 22. Hopefully by the end of summer, I'll be to 50 once or twice.

Oh... and yesterday, when I played, it felt like I did everything wrong, except I don't think I missed a putt inside of 5 feet.

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I like to check my putting mechanics by making straight uphill putts from 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet & 4 feet with several balls.

short putts practice
Once my mechanics are checked I will practice making putts from a 3 foot circle.

long putt practice
I practice long putts from 20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet to a 3 foot circle.

Helpful tips for putting
1) grip
A) light and position with your leading hand down the lifeline of your hand instead of your finger tips. The putter shaft should be in line with your arm and without a bend to keep the putt stroke solid and maintaining the "Y"
2) short putts can be missed if you forget to putt with only your shoulders.
a) form a "Y" with your shoulders and your arms and keep the "Y" throughout the putting stroke without breaking your wrist
3) distance control with the same tempo but lengthening your back stroke and keeping the follow through the same distance of your back stroke or slightly longer with an accelerating stroke forward.

practice everyday to keep the putting confidence and your putts with be under 30 strokes per 18 hole round.

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Draino when I'm messing around with my friends
But when I am practicing ; I start at 3' and put 3 balls in. When I make them all I move to the next angle. Go all the way around 360* and then move to 5'.. Repeat steps until I run out of room pretty much

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Cole is right. Start at 3' and put a tee in the ground on all 4 sides of the hole. Then back up from there and repeat as many time as you would like. I go 3', 6', 9', and 12'. The goal is to make it all the way around without missing. I am hard on myself. If I miss I start over. Do not leave the putting green until you complete the drill.

Another good drill plays on the concept of the little "Par 2" game. Imagine every hole is a Par 2 and putt to the hole. If the ball is not within the "leather" (length of putter grip) draw the ball back a putter length, which is usually about 3 feet. This just helps with those nerve racking 4 footers for most recreational golfers. If you miss a putt by more than about 10-12 inches you have about 4 feet left.

If you are having trouble getting the speed of the greens down a great drill that my college coach had me do a few times is putt while you are looking at the hole and not the ball. This helps with feel. Get set up as if you are ready to stroke the putt, but then at the last second look directly at the hole and just watch how quickly you start to feel how far your arms have to travel to get the ball to the hole.

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I'd like to add, in addition to some of the putting drills before me, that I like to knock in about ten 3-footers in a row with my trailing hand only. Helps me focus on putting through the ball instead of at it.

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I have the same routine every time I work on my putting (I also do #1 below before I play a round of golf) as follows:

1) I drop two balls and I start working on the speed of the greens. I think having the speed of the green is one of the most important aspects of putting. Anyway I will pick out a hole 20-30 feet away and hit both balls to the hole. If I miss I do not mess around with finishing as right now I am just working on getting the speed of the greens. I do this for at least 4-5 different holes (uphill/downhill) or until I roll both balls up close or into the hole. Now I am comfortable with the speed.

2) Now on to some drills. There are many drills out there but one of my favorite is one I heard David Tom's talk about as follows:

You pick a line to a hole uphill, downhill, right to left, left to right it doesn't matter.

You then set tees in the ground at some interval 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 feet.

You then take a club or the flag stick and lay it two feet behind the hole.

Starting at 3 feet the object of this drill is to either make the putt but if not then you must at least get it to the hole or past but you cannot hit the club (2 Feet) behind the hole.

If you leave a putt short or hit the club you have to start over.

What this does is force you to get the putt to the hole but not so agressively that you have a 3-4 footer coming back that are tough to make under pressure...you know the old saying that "100% of the putts that don't make it to the hole do not go in!!!"

One last thing when you get to the 15 footer you will feel the pressure which is good for your putting game on the course or in competition.

3) When done with my drills I usually finish with some lag putting and I finish these putts all the way into the hole and the goal here is no 3 putts.

Hope this helps...

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