Test Your Putting Nerves

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

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Recently, there has been a lot of emphasis placed on the importance of having the proper equipment to assist in having a good round of golf. This is very important. However, it is not “the” most important component of the game. Getting the ball into the hole in the fewest number of strokes is still the most important and basic fundamental of the game. Every hole is completed on the putting green. Therefore, more emphasis must be placed on putting than any other area of the game. Statistics show there are more golf shots played near or on the green than any other area of the course. Statistics also show, putting is the least practiced part of the game by most average to higher handicappers. With this in mind, start the New Year out by spending more time on the putting green working on this drill. You will quickly become addicted to practicing your putting.

Starting out, set up on the putting green about 4 feet from the hole. Make sure the putt is as straight as possible. Once you master the straight putt, you can practice breaking putts using this same drill. Place a tee in the ground where your starting point will be. Next place two golf tees in the ground about 4 inches ahead of your starting point, just wide enough to allow the straight putt to squeeze through. Push the tee into the ground far enough so that only 1/8 of an inch of the tee is above the putting surface. Now place a marble on top of each of the two tees. Your putting track is now ready for the test.

Prior to testing the course, you will need to make sure that you are set up properly over the ball. Check that your eyes are over the golf ball. Your weight should be balanced with slightly more weight on your left side than right. The ball should be positioned slightly ahead of the middle of your stance. Your arms should hang in a relaxed manner underneath your shoulders to create a fluid pendulum motion.

Take a few practice putts away from the drill area. Get your stroke comfortable and confident. Now that you feel pretty good about your stroke, step into the drill area. Place the ball beside the tee that marks the starting point. Make sure the ball is lined up properly to go between the 2 golf tees. Set the marbles on the tees. The object of this drill is to hit the putt and not make contact with either of the 2 side tees; thus, resulting in a perfect putt at the correct speed that will go in the hole.

If you have your putter alignment correct and the ball is making contact with the right tee you are pushing the putt; if you are contacting the left tee you are pulling the putt. A miss-hit putt will result in the marble oscillating on the tee or falling off the tee. The ball will also deflect off line and not go in the hole. Try again. Set your goals to make twenty-five good putts in a row. Then try to achieve fifty in a row. Continue until you get to one hundred in a row. You are now ready to take some easy money off of your playing partners.  Have them try it.

It will take a little practice to get the ball through the two side deflectors; but, once you have mastered this, you will be the best putter in your group.

Be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. or on Arizona Sports 620 or on the internet at arizonasports.com for more tips and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Jim Hill, and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.

Remember, if you have any questions about this drill or would like to have a drill featured, feel free to contact Greg at gellisdog@cox.net.