Let Ex-LET Professional Sophie Walker take you through some simple putting drills to help you hole more putts this season
You have to love putting and believing you are a good putter is half the battle. The putt is the end result of each hole and will often have stress put on it, so here are some drills to help you with pace and holing out.
Focus on the hole
For those of you who struggle when starting your putting stroke and worry about its arc and rhythm, why not just look at the hole? This takes all thought away from how you hit the putt and changes your focus to the hole. Think about when you throw a ball. You don’t look at your arm; you look at the target. This is the best way I’ve found to free up your stroke on those short and nervy putts
Power of positivity
Will the ball into the hole! Hit five putts saying you are going to miss and five saying you’re going to hole it. This will highlight what a positive attitude can do for your performance.
Many people assume that it’s easy to strike a putt in the middle of the clubface. However, in my experience, this is a factor that is overlooked in putting compared to other areas of the game. If a putt isn’t struck out of the middle of the putter face it will lack pace and can alter direction.
To improve your quality of strike, place two tees in the ground either side of the ball as shown and then make a stroke. The putter should connect with both tees at the same time during impact with the ball.
If you hit the one closest to you first, you are leading the strike with the heel. If you hit the tee furthest away, then you are leading with the toe.
If done correctly the ball will roll straight and true and both tees will be knocked towards the target as shown above.
Keep it stable
Unlike the golf swing, when you putt your body needs to stay stable. With a fixed body, you should have a feeling of putting past yourself.
Place a coin under your golf ball; hit the putt, focusing on the coin and not the ball. This will ensure your shoulders remain down your intended line and the ball stays on target.
Ask someone to hold an alignment stick up against your leading ear. When you make a strike, try not to hit the stick, ie move your body/head towards the target as the ball travels towards the hole. This movement often causes the path of the putter to change and leads to a pushed putt.
Working on your stroke is great for direction, but working on pace is equally important. The following drill known as leapfrog helps your touch and is a favourite of Jordan Spieth.
Place a tee on the green five feet away on a gentle upslope or downslope. Putt to the marker, trying to stop the ball no more than six inches past it. Call out if you think the putt is long or short before you see the result. Regardless of the outcome, roll another putt with the aim of reaching the first ball, but not going more than six inches past it. Continue until you reach 10 feet.
The above Instruction article was taken from the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of Women & Golf magazine.
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