Becoming a Better Putter With These 3 Simple Drills
Some, including myself, lack the ability to retain their putting skills during winter. But, just because I’m not like Tiger Woods circa 2002 and more like Ernie Els at the masters in 2016, doesn’t mean I can’t work to be a great putter. The offseason is a great time to practice putting in the great warmth of your own home and why not have an outline of drills to get better?
Putting Drill #1 – HEAD DOWN – COUNT DOWN
Keeping your head down, and still, can be a struggle for anyone who hasn’t played the game for very long. Not to worry because you aren’t, some of us that have played the game for an extended period of time still struggle with this.
Here’s a great drill for the off-season. Go through your pre-shot routine and address the ball, now make a stroke and leave your head down while you COUNT DOWN from three to zero. Don’t look at the result of the putt until you have finished counting down to zero. If you need something to focus on after the ball leaves the putter, then place the ball on top of a coin and continue to look at the coin after the ball has left the face of the putter.
Putting Drill #2 – KNEE KNOCKING FOOL
When you’re standing over a putt, do you ever feel like you’re standing in a canoe that’s afloat a white-capped body of water? Your legs are shaking, you feel as if you are floating in the air because you can’t feel your feet and all you want is for things to feel normal? This is what pressure putts can feel like when you have a two-foot putt on #18 to win the match for your side.
To simulate this pressure during practice, buy a pool noodle from Amazon, or your local Walmart, and place it under the center of your feet on a hard surface. Take your stance and focus on your balance. Feel your knees tremble, your toes curl, and your weight rock back and forth from your heels to your toes. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Now, step off of the pool noodle and let your feet become connected with the ground again and make a normal putting stroke. Feel the difference? Do this ten minutes per day and you’ll start making that two-footer more often than not!
Putting Drill #3 – DISHING IT UP
The putter is meant to swing in perfect harmony with your arms. Many players elbows tend separate from one another instead of staying in harmony with one another. Not only should your elbows stay in sync with each other, but they should also stay in sync with the rest of your upper body as you make the stroke. To understand what this feels like, get two dish towels from your kitchen and place one under each bicep as you take a stance over the ball. The drill is simple, make a stroke without the towels falling to the ground. My recommendation is to do three with the towels and five without. This will begin to train your arms to stay in sync with the rest of your body.
No matter what, as long as you are getting a putter in your hand during the off-season, you will be ahead of most. Just remember, the goal is to always pursue your max potential. Not the potential of others. Be patient, be determined, and most of all… be a player.