I think it is safe to say that most of the golfing public would rather spend practice time beating balls. This only neglects the short game. The reality is 75% of our score occurs from 100 yards and in and roughly 45% of that is putting. Want a sure way to score lower? Putt better.
There are two main ingredients to successful putting- distance and direction. Distance is the toughest to master for amateurs. A key reason – inconsistent ball to putter face contact. Just imagine if you were able to strike all your putts purely. That would certainly make it easier to control distance. Here is a simple drill to help.
Stick two tees in the green. These tees should be the approximate width of your putter plus an inch or so (see photo). Stick another tee in the ground 15, 30, and 45 feet in front of that. With your right hand only, putt 10 balls to the 15 foot tee and monitor the results. Switch to your left hand and putt 10 more. Finally, join both hands and putt 10 more. Repeat the same routine for both the 30 and 45 foot putt.
This drill will accomplish a few things. First of all, when missing the two tees, you are striking the ball in the middle of the face. You are also training each hand independently of the other. It is important to learn what each hand and arm should do in the stroke. Finally, joining the hands together trains the hands to work as a team to create a smooth rhythmic motion.
Work on this for 10 minutes 2 times a week and you will see dramatic results.
John Stahlschmidt is the PGA Head Instructor for the TOUR Academy TPC Scottsdale. To schedule a lesson or to contact John, email firstname.lastname@example.org.