7 Putting Drills To Improve Your Short Game

Just Tap It In

Putting is often overlooked by casual golfers, but any pro knows that putting is just as important as being able to drive the ball 300 yards. I mean, anyone who’s seen the classic film Happy Gilmore knows what we’re talking about.

Happy didn’t win a thing until he learned to putt. With that in mind, here are 7 putting drills that will help you take your short game to the next level.

The “File Folder” Drill

This is a great drill to help you control the speed of your putts. Set a file folder on the green 6-10 feet away from you on a level surface. Try to get your putts to stop on the folder. To surface of the folder is slippery, so you have to focus on the speed of the putt.

The Tiger Woods Gate Drill

Made famous by none other than Tiger Woods, this exercise will help you develop confidence on those short putts. Three feet from a hole, push two tees in the ground just outside the heel and toe, forming a “gate” for the putter. Tiger would alternate hitting 12 putts with his right hand only (for right handed golfers), then six with both hands, until he’d make 50 or 100 in a row. If he’d miss, he’d start over. Be sure to keep the putter moving straight back and forth. Place the tees so close together that if the putter veers off line even a tiny bit during the stroke, it’ll crash into one of the tees.

The Clock Drill

Apparently, Phil Mickelson does this drill at least once during every practice session. Take 12 balls to the putting green and place them around the cup in 2-3 foot intervals.  Start with the 4 closest to the hole and work your way outward.  Every time you miss, restart the drill. A perfect way to work on your rhythm.

The “Pull-Back” Drill

Jordan Speith (one of the best putters in the game) uses this drill, and you should too. It’s really simple – start with one ball 10 feet away from the hole.  Roll your best putt, and wherever the ball ends up, pull it one putter length further away from the hole and putt again. Repeat this process until you make the putt.  Keep score as you go (1 putt = birdie, 2 putts = par, 3 putts = bogey) and so on. Move back to 20 feet and repeat the process.

 

The Meter Stick Drill

This is one you can even do at home, if you’re so inclined. Take a metal meter stick and line it up with your target. Set the ball on the end and hit your putt.  If the ball stays on the meter stick the whole way, it means you are making contact squarely and putting good roll on the ball.

The 1-2-3 Drill

This drill will help you develop a steady, consistent stroke. Everyone knows rhythm is one of the most important aspects of great putting. Place three balls in a row along the same line at equal distances. Roll putts starting from the ball closest to the hole and moving outward.

The “Pull-Back” Drill

Jordan Speith (one of the best putters in the game) uses this drill, and you should too. It’s really simple – start with one ball 10 feet away from the hole.  Roll your best putt, and wherever the ball ends up, pull it one putter length further away from the hole and putt again. Repeat this process until you make the putt.  Keep score as you go (1 putt = birdie, 2 putts = par, 3 putts = bogey) and so on. Move back to 20 feet and repeat the process.

Main Image courtesy of Neville Wootton via Flickr