8 Best Putting Drills for Golfers to Practice
Putting is one of the most important parts of a golfer’s game. The average par score for an 18-hole course is 72. If one counts, on average, 2 shots of putting on the green, then half of the 72 number is actually comprised of putting shots.
36 is your base number to compare your putts per round against. If you average less you are doing great! If you average more than 36 putts for 18 holes, then you need to cut down on 3 putts and 4 putts!
We all know by now that putting is significant to scoring well and it’s also the easiest way for all golfers to improve their handicap score. Practicing putting more often can really help up your game improve.
There are many drills that will allow you to improve your putting. You do not have to smash the golf ball perfectly from your driver to make those birdies. You can score birdies and eagles with a solid putting game.
The following are some of the most popular putting drills that you can practice to become a better golfer.
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8 “Must Try” Putting Drills
The 1-2-3 Putting Drill
As the name may suggest, the 1-2-3 putting drill involves 3 golf balls. They are placed along a single line, one behind the other.
The first ball is the closest to the hole, the second a little bit farther, and the third ball is the farthest from the hole. The distance between each ball is fixed.
Normally, you can experiment with distances of 3 feet, 6 feet, or 9 feet between each of the golf balls. That way you can practice with three variations of the 1-2-3 putting drill.
Next, you start the drill by hitting the ball that is closest to the hole. You then move back and hit the second ball that is a little farther and then the third ball which is the farthest.
You basically start inside and move outwards, away from the hole. This drill is a great way to build up some rhythm before heading out to tee-off. You also build your consistency and develop a steady putting stroke.
The Business Folder Putting Drill
One of the worst nightmares for a golfer is the 3-putt where you take 3 shots to make ball into the hole on the green. One of the main causes of a 3-putt is poor distance control causing you to overshoot the ball or undershoot it.
This happens because the golfer has miscalculated the speed of the green. Controlling the speed of the ball on the green is critical. Here is one of several articles we’ve written on improving putting distance control.
The business folder putting drill is exactly what you need to practice speed control.
On a practice green, place a manilla folder about 7 to 8 feet away from you. Then hit the golf ball with your putter and try to make it stop on the folder.
The surface of the folder is a lot smoother than the surface of the practice green. So, the ball will move a lot faster on the folder than it will on the green.
That makes stopping the ball on the folder a bit harder for you. Hence, this drill will really make you focus on the speed of the rolling ball.
The Pull Back Putting Drill
The pull back putting drill is a great way to practice making the 5-7 footer shots. These are shots that you normally have to make when you are under pressure in a real game. The drill itself is pretty simple.
You basically attempt a putt shot from around 10 to 12 feet away from the hole. If you miss the shot, then you lay down your putter from where the ball is and move the ball back by the length of the putter.
So for example, if you attempted a putt and the ball ended up around 1 foot away from the hole, then you move the ball back by the length of the putter (about 3 feet or so) and then re-attempt the putt.
You keep repeating this pull back drill till you make the shot. What this drill does is allow you to repeatedly attempt putts from a 5 to 7 feet distance till you become really good at putting the ball from those distances.
Jordan Spieth Putting Drills
Famous American golfer Jordan Spieth has a couple of popular putting drills that you can use for your putting practice. The first one is called Gatecrasher.
In this drill, you basically place the golf ball about 10 feet away from the hole. Then, you place two ball markers approximately mid-way (roughly 5 feet away from the hole) between the golf ball and the hole.
The goal of this drill is to make the putt by rolling the ball through the ball marker “gate” and into the hole. If you do this drill with a friend, then give yourselves half a point for rolling the ball through the two markers and another half point for making the hole.
The second drill is called Leap Frog.
Here, you first place a ball marker on a gentle upslope of a downslope about five feet away from the golf ball. You then hit the ball and attempt to make the ball stop around 6 inches of the ball marker.
But the trick is to predict whether that will happen as soon as you hit the ball.
You have to actually call out loud whether you think that your shot will be successful. The purpose of this drill is to help you develop a feel for your shot.
The Clock Putting Drill
The clock putting drill is all about close range putt shots. There is no worse feeling than missing a 3-foot putt shot and go from par to a bogey. It is rumored that champion golfer Phil Mickelson does this drill during each one of his practice sessions.
The drill involves placing 12 balls around the hole. The balls are placed in 4 single lines of 3 balls each. The 3 balls are one behind the other, with the first ball almost 1 foot from the hole and the third ball about 3 feet from the hole.
Use all 4 directions (north, south, east, west) around the hole to make the 4 ball lines.
Hit the balls one by one starting with any one of the 4 lines. Start with the ball that is closest to the hole and move outward. If you miss any putt, then restart the entire drill.
By the time you reach the 10th and 11th ball, you will feel like you are on hole number 18 of a pressure game. This drill not only improves your close range putting but also conditions you mentally.
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The Meter Stick Drill
The meter stick drill is a way to practice hitting the ball with a straight face of your putter. If the putter face is not square when it makes impact with the golf ball, then your putt is all over the place.
If you want the ball to roll just the way you calculated the putt and the slope of the green, then hitting the ball with the putter face absolutely square is essential. The meter stick drill helps you hone this technique.
Place a metal meter stick about 5 feet away from the hole. Then, place the golf ball at the end of the stick away from the hole and practice your putt.
If you hit the ball with a straight face of the putter, then the ball will roll on the metal meter stick. If your putter face is slant, then the ball will roll in a slightly different direction and not on the metal stick.
You can practice with this drill till your hands learn to hold the putter completely square to the golf ball.
Tiger’s Gate Putting Drill
The famous golfer Tiger Woods came up with a really simple drill for short distance putts. It involves placing two tees about 3 or 4 feet away from the hole.
The tees are placed in such a way that they are a few inches apart, preferably a little bit wider than the width of your putter head. Then, attempt to make the putt by rolling the ball with your putter through the two tees and into the hole.
You can set some rules when you do this drill. For example, you can attempt hitting 20 shots repeatedly.
Tiger Woods used to do 50 to 100 shots during his practice sessions.
You can even try attempting the putts with one hand (right hand if you are a right-handed golfer and left hand if you are a left-handed golfer).
Then try using both hands. There are many variations you can use. But the main purpose of this drill is to build your confidence on the green when you are about to score a birdie.
100 Straight Putts Drill
Repetition might get monotonous and boring, but it is the best way to perfect your game. Putting is no different and the 100 straight putts drill is one of the simplest ways to become a pro at short 2 feet putts.
As the name suggests, place the golf ball about 2 feet away from the hole and make the putt shot. Then repeat the same drill till you do 100 putts of 2 feet distance.
The idea of this drill is to pay attention to your alignment, shape, and form. It will also give you confidence in a pressure situation when you are standing on that green and ready to bag a birdie.
So there you have it! 8 amazing drills to take your putting game to the next level. You do not have to feel pressured about the dreaded 3-putt anymore.
Practice your putting with these drills and you are guaranteed to see the results.
You need to dedicate at least an hour or 90 minutes every practice session and go through these putting drills. Only with regular practice and dedication will you enjoy the fruits of the end result.
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