Tom Fielding Golf School Japan
One of the Best Putting Drills For Increasing Feel-A great way to work on your feel is to take the visual element away and putt with your eyes closed.
Dave Pelz’s studies show that distance control in the short game and putting is 3 times more important than direction. In other words, putting distance control needs to be practiced.
Putting distance control is also known as “feel”. A great way to work on your feel is to take the visual element away and putt with your eyes closed. Suzanne Pettersen actually did this for a while in tournaments, putting everything within 20 ft with her eyes closed. This gives you an idea of how important feel is for putting. This meant her focus was totally absorbed by the sense of feel, which would have enabled her to quiet her mind and access a fluid stroke. I don’t suggest you do this in competition, but doing this as part of your putting distance control practice, will increase your feel and you’ll see improvement in your distance control on the course. You’ll notice that you really “dial in” to the feel of the putting during your rehearsal strokes, and connect with that feeling when you’re over the putt and during the stroke.
A Putting Distance Control Practice Drill
This exercise isn’t really about how many putts you hole, it’s about becoming aware of the feeling associated with the length and direction of each putt. Once you have the line in your mind’s eye and you are correctly aligned, it is all about feel and making a good positive stroke. This drill will help you achieve this.
1. Take 3 balls and a drop them down approximately 10 ft from a hole. I say “drop them” so you don’t have exactly the same putt each time.
2. Go through your putting routine of reading the putt, visualizing the line (and seeing the ball go in), feeling the stroke and addressing the ball.
3. When you are about to start your back-swing, close your eyes. Really try to connect with the feel of the putt before you hit it. Then hit your putt.
4. Before opening your eyes, make a call on where the putt finished. E.g. short-right, long-left or holed it!
5.When you open your eyes and see where the ball has come to rest, grade yourself on how close you were to the putt you felt. E.g. If you missed long-left and you called it:
Long-left = 2 points
Short-left, Long-right = 1
Short right = 0 points
If you holed it and you called it, give yourself 3 points.
If you holed it and you called a miss, give yourself 2 points.
6.Next pick a hole 15ft away and then repeat for a 20ft putt so you have a total of nine holes. Total up your score and make it a target to beat before you can leave the putting green after your next putting distance control practice session.
The reason I have developed a scoring system for this exercise is that I strongly believe you should always include some pressurized practice. The more you can do this, instead of practicing “consequence-free”, the more you can get “comfortable feeling uncomfortable” when you feel pressure on the golf course. Over time, this exercise will heighten your feel for putts of all distances, build a more confident putting stroke, and ultimately lower your scores.
Other Recommended Putting Drills:
Tiger Wood’s Double Gate Putting Drill
One of the most famous golf putting drills has become famous because it’s practiced timelessly by golf’s most famous golfer, Tiger Woods. Today’s putting drill has been named the Tiger Wood’s Double Gate Putting Drill after years of seeing Tiger practice it during warm ups before heading out to play in competitive PGA Tour events.
Tiger’s been considered one of the best putters of all time and his Scotty Cameron putter has helped him win 15 majors, with his most recent being the 2019 Masters.
Whether you’re a fan of Tiger Woods or not, this golf putting drill is worth completing during your practice days. It will work on your putter head control, teaching you to keep it straight during the putting stroke so it flows seamlessly between the gate of tees.
The double gate in the putting drill refers to a second gate of tees that the golf ball must pass between. This truly tests your ability to start putts on line which starts with a straight putting stroke and ends with seeing the ball stay straight, passing between gate of tees.
How to Do Tiger’s Putting Drill:
Jordan Spieth Putting Drill – Look at the Hole
In this golf putting drill you get to forget about watching the ball when putting and instead you’ll be looking at the cup as you make the putting stroke.
It’s a great drill we like to do on long putts to get a feel for distance control. But it’s even more important on short putts, which is where you’ll be starting off the drill first.
Why look at the hole when putting? Well think about most sports. In basketball you look at the hoop when shooting and in football you look at the receiver when throwing.
Golf is the one sport where you look down at the ball instead of at your target.
But like other sports, you can actually still make putts looking at the hole. This gives your brain distance and target information to help you sink the putt.
And by not looking down at the ball, you don’t have to spend your mental energy focusing on mechanics.
Instead, you develop trust that your mechanics will hold up and perform a successful putt just like a basketball player trusts his shooting mechanics will hold up while he focuses on the rim.
Putting Practice Routine: Die The Golf Ball in the Hole
In today’s putting practice routine, you’re going to develop distance control over your golf ball on the putting greens. This putting drill you’ll be setting up is challenging and will take at least 1 hour to complete so make sure you’re ready for the challenge before starting so you can see it through to the finish.
But first, what does it mean when golfers say “die the golf ball into the hole”?
When putting, there are two ways to make the putt. You can die it into the hole by hitting with enough speed that its final few revolutions drop it in the hole. This requires playing maximum break since the ball will be rolling very slow at the end allowing break to take effect on it.
You can also hit the putt with more speed, sort of “ramming it” into the hole. This requires playing less break since the speed will overpower the putt.
We can talk more about ramming putts into the hole in another golf putting drill since new rules allow you to leave the flag in when putting and Bryson Dechambeau has shown the reasoning behind this for ramming close putts.
Today however, let’s show you a putting drill to develop your distance control and feel so you can sink hard putts that require perfect speed and break.
Drill #1: Flat Putts
If struck with perfect speed for the amount of break you have to play, the ball should enter the hole from the side (high side) and fall in. This is called making a side door putt.
Practice like a Pro – 5 Putting Drills for Instant Improvement
Practice makes perfect, and when we talk about putting in golf this statement can’t be more true.
Unfortunately when it comes to putting, a shortcut to success doesn’t exist.
Amateur golfers normally don’t have the luxury of time, thus it is important to spend your time wisely when you do get a chance to practice your short game, and in particular your putting.
You might think that you are practicing your putting when you go to the practice green and putt at random holes without any purpose, but without doing focused putting drills on a regular basis it will take a long time before you notice improvement on the greens.
Below are 5 putting drills that will get you to practice like a pro, and with quality of practice improvement will soon follow.
Drill #1: Train Tracks
In order to get consistent putting results on the golf course it is very important to have a putting stroke with good fundamentals.
The first, and in my opinion most important fundamental is to have a putting stroke that goes straight back and through.
When the stroke gets longer on distance putts the arch of the putting stroke will be slightly towards the inside, which is what is suppose to happen.
The first 3 – 4 inches on the backstroke and follow through has to be as straight as possible.
Having a putter head that moves through the hitting area with a square clubface will lead to consistency in strike and direction, thus more putts holed with good speed.
The train track drill is a great putting drill to practice this fundamental with.
Take two alignment sticks, or golf clubs, and align them in the shape of train tracks at a hole, set up the train tracks about 6 feet away from the hole.
The width of the tracks has to be slightly wider than your putters width.
It is important that your putter can move freely between the tracks, but don’t allow yourself too much space.
This drill will improve the path of your putting stroke, and the great thing about it is that it can be done anywhere at home or even in your office during your lunch break.
Drill #2: Rhythm – Prayer Grip Drill
Another key fundamental of a consistent putting stroke is good rhythm.
Having good rhythm will lead to consistency in strike and distance control, both factors that will lead to improved putting results.
In order to get good rhythm it is important to use your shoulder turn to rock the putter back and through.
Gripping the putter with 2 fingers only is a great putting drill that will force you to use your shoulders in order to stroke the putt.
Open your hands up, place your hands on either side of your grip, the hands will resemble hands that are in the prayer position, line the grip up so that your middle fingers are the only 2 fingers that are touching the putter grip.
At first it will feel nearly impossible to putt the ball, but your body will figure out that you need to use your shoulders in order to generate enough speed to make a putting stroke.
This is a great putting drill that will train a good shoulder turn in your putting stroke, and as a by product of a good shoulder turn you will have improved rhythm.
Drill #3: 2 Putt Speed Drill
Speed is arguably the most important factor in putting.
Many amateur golfers blame missing short putts when they have a couple of 3 putts per round, but most of the time distance control on longer putts is the problem.
It is important to take a close look at your putting game as a whole in order to blame the correct area for your putting woes.
The 2 putt speed drill is a great putting drill that will help you eliminate those dreaded 3 putts.
Chose 2 holes on the putting green that are about 30 – 40 feet away from each other, take two balls and putt between the two holes, putt out every putt and continue going until you have 10 consecutive 2 putts.
This drill help with more than just your speed, it will also challenge your mental game.
When you have made about 8 two putts you will start to feel some pressure in order to continue the streak to 10.
Drill #4: Putting 3 and 6 footers Around the World
Most weekend golfers are very quick to give a 3 or 4 foot putt to their buddies, deep down they are doing it with the hopes that the favor will be returned because secretly they are petrified of those short putts.
This is one way to deal with the problem, but in reality the plan has zero longevity.
When you play in your annual club tournament then you will have to putt out those short putts.
The 3 and 6 footers around the world putting drill is a great drill that will help you get confidence on those short putts.
Take 6 tees and place them in a circle around the hole, start with 3 footers before you move on to 6 feet.
The goal is to make 6 putts in a row, use only one ball and move on to the following tee after every putt, move on even if you missed.
Continuously moving on to a new tee is important because this way you don’t get use to hitting the same putt over and over.
Once you have mastered this try and get 12 in a row, and once that doesn’t challenge you anymore move on to 6 feet.
Drill #5: Draw Back
Draw back is a great putting drill that will work on both speed and short putts.
It is an easy 2 putt when you roll your first attempt to a couple of feet from the hole, but draw it back to 4 or 5 feet and all of a sudden that little putt will get your attention.
Take one ball and go around the putting green, choose 18 different putts, all par 2’s, but draw the second putt back a grip length every time, the goal is to get a score of even par 36.
Once you have accomplished that draw it back a putter length, this will make it considerably more difficult.
If at first even par is too difficult, try and improve on your personal best every time you do the drill.