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Putting Practice Drills

How much time do you actually spend practicing golf? I mean, I definitely consider some of the rounds I play "practice" rounds where I'm not so tough on myself to perform. But, what about outside of practice rounds and when you are on the course, how often do you go to the range and hit balls, or practice chipping in your backyard, or use the putting green at your local course?

I find that no matter how much I practice with my driver, woods, and irons, more often than not it results in more confidence, rather than a more technically-sound swing. The result is that when I get on the course, because of the conditions such as my lie, whether or not I have a clear path to my target, etc. it is difficult to reproduce that "perfect lie" at the range. However, whenever I practice putting, I feel as though I am definitely learning and getting better every time. Therefore, I'd say that practicing putting is a definite must for at least as much time as you practice with your other clubs, and the improvements will be more noticable than after practicing with your other clubs.

Here are a few drills to help with putting:

The Carpet/Cup Drill This one is easy. If you have a floor in your house and a cup to set up to aim for, you're golden! True there is no break, which makes this the ideal drill to practice aim and distance. Start with three balls about 2 feet from the cup. Move back 5 feet each round until you've maxed the distance your room can accomodate. Take a rest and then repeat the drill only starting with the further distances first.

The Stop Putt Take your normal putting swing. After you make contact with the ball immediately stop your swing. This is going to focus in on your aim and accuracy. After trying a bunch of putts this way, add back in your follow through and you should notice how your follow through really helps guide the clubface and ultimately the ball towards your target.

The Eyes Closed Test Take 3 putts from the same location at the same target. Next try the putt three more times only with your eyes closed this time. Were the second three balls close to the first three? If so then you have good tempo, balance, and your backswing and follow through are coming through along the same line. If you are off on your second three, you may be naturally taking your backswing along an arced path instead of straight back.

Fringe Putting I think one of the most over-looked putts is the fringe putt. I find myself at least 2-4 times per round being around the green and contemplating a putt rather than a chip. Putting from the fringe or just outside the green is definitely different than putting on the actual green surface. More often than not putts are not hit with enough force and end up getting bogged down in the longer fringe grass. I suggest practicing fringe-putting every single time you use the practice green.

There are many putting drills, and the trick is to find ones that focus on one aspect of your putting...whether it be for distance, accuracy, reading greens, etc.

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