Two Simple Putting Drills to Nail Your Pace Control
A solid putting game could be the difference between comfortably shooting your handicap and walking off 18 wondering where it all went wrong.
Very few of us will ever manage to bomb it 330 yards, but we can all learn to putt like the pros with regular, diligent practice.
To help you in that quest, we've found two putting drills to help you make a high percentage of short putts and level up your pace control when you're further from the hole.
Drill 1 - The Gate Drill
Choosing the right line and correct pace is all for nothing if you struggle to hit the golf ball out of the centre of the putter face. Finding the centre of the face more consistently is central to you avoiding three-putts on the golf course.
The drill below will help you present a square putter face on the correct path, those who watch professional golf may have seen Tiger do something very similar.
Drop a tee on either side of your putter around 3-5 feet from the hole. Remove the putter and place the golf ball equidistant between the tees. Your goal from here is to strike the ball without clipping either tee. It will look VERY intimidating, but give it time, and it will become a welcome challenge.
By eliminating toe and heel strikes, you'll roll the ball more consistently, which is essential in tightening up your putt dispersion, avoiding 3-putts and will simultaneously build your confidence over tricky 3-5 footers.
When you've mastered the basic gate drill, increase the difficulty level by practising with the trail arm only to really isolate the body movement needed to become an elite putter. Again, all credit to Tiger on this one, but it seems to have worked pretty well for him, no?
Drill 2 - Pace Drill
Next, we need to work on your speed. Improving your speed control is an absolute necessity if you want to hole more putts and ramp up your three-putt avoidance.
When you've worked on your putter head control, you can be reasonably assured of a clean strike out of the centre of the face.
And that's where our second drill comes in particularly useful.
Find a quiet part of the putting green and place three tees in a line at 5, 10 and 15 feet. Hit putts in turn to all of these distances, aiming not to hit the tee but to lay the ball up alongside.
A couple of balls per tee is perfect for this instant feedback exercise. By doing this, you can learn to adjust your stroke very quickly and observe what an effective pace looks like at various distances together rather than in single isolated scenarios.
It will also achieve something else. You'll realise where you need to focus your efforts! Everyone has distances they are better and worse at; with this method, you'll see straight away what looks acceptable and what doesn't.
Ultimately all of these distances should be two-putts at worst, so make sure you are getting them close enough to guarantee that, and your scores will reap the benefits.
As well as helping you with short-mid range putts, you could use this drill for lag putting too. Choose three distances as far away from the ball as you like and place the tees in the ground to gain the same immediate feedback.
Just remember, we suggest starting on the short ones first.