Putting is often viewed as the most dramatic and difficult aspect of the sport of golf.
Sure, pros make it look easy, but that’s because they’ve spent many hours honing their skills, and never stop learning how to putt with more accuracy and finesse.
Want to learn how to putt more consistently and shave strokes off your score? Put some putting tips and golf exercises to work for you, and you will reap the rewards.
Best Putting Drills to Improve Your Game
In many tournaments, the winner is the golfer with the best putting game. It’s no surprise when a master golfer hits an amazing drive, or even a spectacular approach shot. Golf putting is what separates the best from the rest.
Here are some common drills that can make a huge difference on the green.
This drill is designed to hone skills for your short putts. Missing a short putt is frustrating and makes even an amateur feel disappointed, and even a little foolish.
Place three balls in a line from the hole at 3, 6, and 9 feet away. Do this in four lines like a clock, at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. Then begin making putts starting at all four 3-foot putts, and so on until you’ve made all 12 putts successfully. If you miss any, start over.
The intent is to hone your short putts from different positions on the green, which should have varying breaks and speeds required. Ideally, do this on a challenging green rather than a very flat surface.
To practice your longer putts, this drill will be a winner. A short putt is one skill, but in many cases, it takes a long putt to get you in range for a realistic short putt. The ladder drill challenges you to putt from 10, 20, 30, and 40 feet, controlling the distance of each putt.
Place a tee at each of those distances from the cup. Begin by hitting to the first tee (10 feet), then continue with the 20-foot putt, 30-foot, and 40-foot. The intention is to pace your putts to stop as close to the respective tee as possible.
Once you’ve completed the four putts, execute the same routine from the opposite end of the tees. So this time, your breaks will be the reverse of the first round, and if you were putting uphill, you’re now putting downhill. The idea of the drill is to get a better feel for distance and control, improving your ability to read the greens and adjust for distance.
If you’re guilty of pushing or pulling your putt off the desired path, this one will help.
The cause – a swing path that is either in-to-out or out-to-in, rather than a straight motion.
The drill – place a couple of clubs on a flat area of the green, just wide enough to fit your ball and putter head between them. Swing through the clubs with your putter and strike the ball. If you hit the clubs, you’re not swinging and following through with a straight motion. Keep practicing until you can consistently swing and follow through without hitting the clubs.
Keep the putter head low to the ground, and be sure you follow through with your putter.
Golf Exercises – Staying in Top Shape for Golf
Any sport requires conditioning and the ability to execute fundamentals efficiently. Golf is certainly no exception.
Top pros believe in warm-up exercises and plenty of practice rounds, and every golfer can benefit from exercises that condition the body for repetitive movements required by golf activity.
There are many quality videos and articles online that provide details of golf-related exercises for multiple purposes:
- Upper or lower body strengthening that will improve drive distance and rotation
- Strengthen shoulder muscles and rotator cuffs
- Stretching and conditioning that will help to avoid injury from your game – neck, back, and shoulder discomfort or injuries are not uncommon for golfers, especially seniors
- Improve agility and balance
- Strengthen abdominal muscles to improve overall posture and swing power
Golfers of every age and skill level can participate in exercises that will improve overall health while improving their game.
Putting Equipment Makes a Difference
Even if you execute putting drills religiously and take advantage of every opportunity to exercise, your equipment may be a factor in better putting, as well.
Pro golfer Jordan Spieth’s putter has been a key element in his performance on multiple tour appearances. Many credit his Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype putter for contributing to his phenomenal success on the greens.
There are thousands of quality putters on the market, designed for different heights, preferences, and abilities. They vary considerably in weight, loft, face construction, grips, and more.
Take some time to visit your pro shop or golf retailer to find the one that works best for you.