Putting is the most important part of golf. Rory McIlroy, who is probably the best driver of the ball struggles with his putting. When he gives interviews about his putting game he makes his goals on the green obvious:
- I want the ball to start on the correct line.
- I need to get the pace right.
Goffers, it’s that simple. Hit it straight, hit it hard enough, but not too hard.
Here’s two simple drills you can work on for 10minutes before a game or for 2 hours at a time.
Choose a putt of about 6feet (2 metres) and use two coins/tees to mark a point on the grass where the ball has to go in if it rolls over that point at a sensible pace (a little hard or soft shouldn’t make much difference).
Give yourself a few practice shots and then try and hole 5 in a row, if you miss one, collect the balls up until you make all 5. Once you’ve made all 5 (if you have time) move the markers and start again.
Some people don’t like drills like this, they say “but you can’t putt markers on the green in a game”. Jack Nicklaus’ book put me onto picking a mark a few feet away and then just rolling the ball over that mark. If you can complete the coin drill without too much work (it’s gonna take some work to begin with) you’ve just learnt how to putt like Nicklaus.
If you’ve time/motivation move away to about 15feet (4-5 metres) and repeat the drill. Jordan Speith uses a drill like this in his practice routine and he is probably the best putter in the game.
2. Simple putting pace drill.
On the practice green use coins or tees to make a box about 4feet wide and 3feet deep. From about 20ft (6metres) try to roll balls into the box so that they stop in there. Simple. Give yourself a few practices and then try to do it 5 times in a row. Pressure practicing is good, especially for matters of touch/pace like this.