Putting is arguably the most important aspect of any golfer’s game. Nothing is worse than getting onto the green in regulation, then proceeding to 3-putt (or worse) the hole. If you can make long putts, or give yourself an easy tap in par, you’re going to be able to shoot lower scores.
While putting is critical, and accounts for about half of your strokes during a round, most people don’t bother practicing putting for more than a few minutes before they go out to play! Adding in some putting drills to your practice routine will help you become more consistent on the greens. More practice here helps you understand green speed and slope, which is absolutely critical for putting.
Here are two of our top putting drills for lower scores.
1. For Stroke Consistency: The Gate Drill
The Gate Drill is a simple yet effective drill used by some of the most famous golfers in the world – think Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. The idea is to get a consistent putting stroke.
One of the most important aspects of putting is getting your putter face square at impact, and being able to get the ball rolling on the right line.
It can be pretty easy to get in a habit of pushing a putt out and missing it to the right, or pulling it to the left. The Gate Drill helps you with putter alignment and the feeling of hitting the ball square.
How to do it:
- To start, pick a spot on the practice green that you’d like to practice your putts from, about 3-4 feet from the hole.
- Push two tees into the green slightly wider than the heel and toe of your putter head. Doing this forms a gate for your putter to pass through.
- Place the ball in the middle of the gate, and get into the putting position. You have to hit your shot without touching either side of the gate for the putt to be completely straight.
- Try making 5-10 of these putts in a row, practicing going straight back and straight through the gate. Once you’ve done this, move the gate to a spot further from the hole to practice different putting speeds.
Here’s a great video featuring Paige Spiranac showing us how to execute the gate drill properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3G30h_HUFM
2. For Speed and Feel: The Clock Drill
The clock drill is easy to set up and is a great way to become a better putter.
The drill forces you to be able to react to different putting distances, breaks, and feel around one specific hole. This is a great way to find control in your short to mid-range putts, and start sinking the ones that really matter.
How to do it:
Set up tees 3, 6, and 9 feet away from a hole on a practice green in a line, and do this around a hole so that it is surrounded on 4 sides. This should resemble a clock or a compass pattern.
Once the tees are in place, put 12 balls down in these positions.
The goal is to make all putts in a row without missing. Start with one of the 3 footers, and do that entire row before moving to the next arm of the clock.
If you miss a putt, you have to start over.
Here’s a great video that further breaks down this drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRYg9RvS8Ug
Trying using these putting drills for a couple of hours each week. You’ll be amazed at how many more putts you make on the golf course, and how that can change your score.
Bio: Brandon runs a golf website called Fairway Approach, focused on helping golfers take a smarter approach to golf by offering game improvement guides and equipment reviews. He’s been playing amateur golf for over 15 years, and is originally from Syracuse, NY. During the day he’s a technical recruiter within the financial industry, helping software engineers land jobs.
Feel free to reach out to Brandon at [email protected]