With limited time to practice, most of you would much rather hit balls than work on the short game. The reality is 75% of our score occurs from 100 yards or closer 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. The reason is simple, inconsistent ball to putter face contact. Just imagine if you were able to strike all your putts solid. 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. 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 – see picture. 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 Head Instructor for the TOUR Academy at the TPC Scottsdale. You can reach John at firstname.lastname@example.org.