Speed control is very important when putting. Not only to get the ball as close to the hole as possible, but also to give the ball a chance to go into the hole. That is why you often hear the statement "a putt that was left too short never had the chance to go into the hole". Because as long as the ball does not stop at least at hole height, it has never had the chance to fall. There are various exercises to work on, which we will explain in this and the next blog post.
Alignment rod putting drill
In order to find the right speed and above all to develop a feeling for it, this exercise can be particularly helpful. The alignment rod putting drill is particularly suitable for medium-length putts. Many PGA Tour players also use this exercise to get used to the different green speeds before tournaments.
How the exercise works:
- Place an alignment rod approximately 50 centimeters behind the hole.
- You need ten golf balls. Now look for a seven to nine meter putt. In total, you should do 30 putts from three different directions.
- Now try to putt the golf ball so that it at least stops at hole height but does not come to rest behind the alignment rod.
- How the scoring works:
o Ball in the hole: 2 points
o Behind the hole but in front of the rod: 1 point
o Behind the rod: -1 point
o Less than 60 centimeters before the hole: 0 points
o More than 60 centimeters before the hole: -1 point
The goal is to get at least 20 points with 30 putts. After a few repetitions, you will notice progress. If the exercise becomes too easy, you can increase the score you want to achieve or adjust the difficulty of the putt.
Lag putting drill
For long putts, most golfers have the only goal of simply putting the ball near the hole. Few set themselves a precise goal, such as getting the ball to stop exactly 20 centimeters to the left of the hole. So they do not line up before the putt and they do not concentrate well enough before putting the ball towards the hole. The result of this attitude is that they have putts of 1.5 to 2.5 meters more often than they care for.
To avoid this you can practice the lag putting drill. That way you will have shorter second putts more often.
How the drill works:
- First measure distances on the green that are not on the same line. Stake out the following lengths with tees: 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 meters from the hole.
- Now putt a ball towards the hole from every distance until you have putted all five in a row within a radius of one meter from the hole.
- If a putt does not come to rest within a distance of one meter, you have to start over.
With this exercise you quickly get a better feeling for different lengths and above all the green speed of the respective golf courses.
This drill should also help you to get better and more precise with long putts. The exercise works on the same principle as the drills just explained.
How the ladder drill works:
- Put tees in the ground. The first tee at a distance of 3 meters, the next at 6 meters, then at 9 meters and the last at 12 meters. Now insert tees on the opposite side at exactly the same distances, about a putter length from the first row of tees, so that a kind of ladder forms.
- Now try to bring the first putt to rest in the box between 3 and 6 meters, then in the second box, then in the last one. When you have putted all three putts into the respective box, repeat the process from the opposite side of the ladder. The exercise is only completed if you have successfully putted all six putts without making a mistake.
With these exercises, you should quickly get a better feeling for different distances and the required pace. In the next blog post we will introduce two more exercises for you to try.