One of the worst things about the colder weather is losing any progress you made over the season, so we put together 3 Awesome Putting Drills you can do in the comfort of your own home to keep your game sharp!
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The quickest and simplest way to improve your golf score is to improve your putting. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to practice putting at home. Unfortunately, home practice can feel redundant and unproductive after you’ve made a hundred puts over the same surface.
The trick is to know how to focus your practice. I’m going to share some drills that will help you do much more than simply practice your aim and distance control. These three drills are guaranteed to knock five strokes off your golf game by helping you reverse common errors and improve your putting.
All you need for these three drills is:
A Styrofoam pool noodle
A hand towel
That’s it. Let’s get started.
The Skill: Keeping Your Head Down
You probably know that it’s important to keep your head down through the putt. But if you’re like a lot of golfers, you may struggle to put this advice into practice. It’s so natural to move your gaze–and your head–along the path of your ball as you putt through. You may not even realize you’re doing it.
This drill will help you get in the habit of keeping your head down.
What You’ll Need: A penny
What You’ll Do:
Place a penny on the ground about one foot behind the golf ball.
Take your regular putting setup.
Make your putt. At the moment of impact, look back at the penny.
Keep your gaze on the penny until you believe the ball has reached its target.
By focusing your gaze on the penny instead of the ball at impact, you keep the body calm and the head down. This is how you achieve better impact conditions. Run this drill as much as you need to in order to kick the habit of moving your head to watch your ball.
The Skill: Awareness of Your Feet
Believe it or not, you can improve your putting just by heightening awareness within your body–especially when it comes to your feet. Your feet connect you to the ground, and that sense of rootedness and balance is essential to feeling steady in your stance.
The trouble is, we get so used to our own bodies that it isn’t always easy to awaken that awareness. The following drill is a tough one, but it will heighten that sense of groundedness and stability as you take your putt. All you need is a styrofoam noodle. If you have kids, you probably already have one around.
What You’ll Need: A Styrofoam noodle
What You’ll Do:
Take your regular putt setup.
Place the noodle on the ground between your feet and the ball.
Stand on the noodle with both feet in standard putting position.
Try to balance here for 5-6 seconds.
Step off the noddle and putt, noting how strong and balanced your feet feel in connection to the ground.
Once it becomes easier to balance on the noddle for 5-6 seconds, you can even increase your time to 10 or 12 seconds. It may not sound like you’re doing much, but trust me–this is an eye-opening exercise that makes a huge difference in helping you feel rooted and more stable in your putting.
The Skill: Keeping Your Arms Connected to Your Body
Some instructors teach their students to move their arms independently of their body throughout the putt. I respectfully disagree. When you keep your arms tucked against the torso, it simplifies your movement and helps you create a smooth, even motion in your stroke.
That said, it isn’t the most natural feeling. This drill will help you get used to keeping that connection between your arms and your torso.
What You’ll Need: A hand towel
What You’ll Do:
Roll the hand towel lengthwise.
Wrap the towel around the back of your body, tucking an end under each arm.
Practice your putting motion without a ball to get familiar with the feeling of connectedness between your arms and torso.
When you’re ready, hit some putts, keeping the towel tucked under your arms. The goal is to keep the towel from dropping.
This drill will feel awkward and unnatural at first, but with practice, you will find that you’re creating a smoother rotation in your body. You will also discover more control in your stroke as your arms and torso move together.
And when combined with the previous two drills, you have a great chance of playing a more satisfying round when you’re able to get back out on the golf course.