Have you ever watched a professional golfer practice putting before a round?

Each player has his or her own routine, but there are a few things that are constant for most golfers. For instance, many pros spend a lot of time on just one hole – just from different angles – and the majority of their practice is within about 10 feet.

Compare that to your normal putting practice. For many recreational golfers, it involves dropping three balls on the edge of the green and just randomly aiming for holes all around the green. Sure, you’re getting in some practice, but this method isn’t the most effective way to improve your putting skills.

Improve your Putting Skills with These Simple Drills

If you’re serious about improving your putting, there are countless golf exercises and drills that you can try. A few of these drills will take more time than you might already been dedicating to the putting green before your round.

Devote some extra time to learning these simple putting tips, and you’ll start consistently sinking more makeable putts.

1. Improve Your Putting by Adjusting Your Swing Path

The majority of missed short putts are the result of either a backswing or follow through that is out of alignment with the rest of your body. This simple golf exercise allows you to see if your swing isn’t straight.

Place two golf clubs on each side of the ball so they create parallel lines leading towards the hole. The objective of this drill is to make sure your putter’s head stays in the path that’s created by the two clubs throughout your shot. If it doesn’t, make adjustments to your stance, grip, and motion until you have a smooth, straight stroke.

2. Improve Your Putting by Mimicking Tiger Woods

This is another golf exercise that tests your swing path, and it comes straight from Tiger Woods.

Tiger lines up about three feet from the hole and places two tees in the ground just beyond the heel and toe of his putter head. He will then alternate hitting putts with just his right hand and both hands, until he makes 50 or 100 in a row.

You can do this drill as well, but focus on making 10 in a row to start and then increase from there. It might sound easy, but the gate created by the tees makes this drill more challenging than expected.

3. Improve Your Putting with the Circle Drill

This is one of Phil Mickelson’s favorite putting drills.

The concept is simple. You’ll walk in a circle four feet away from the hole, dropping five or six balls in points around the circle. Try to sink each of the shots and then do the same thing from eight feet away from the cup. Experienced golfers will start this drill over if they miss a putt, but those who are beginners and looking to improve their putting skills should aim to make 75 percent of their shots.

4. Improve Your Putting by Taking Your Eyes Off the Ball

Wait, what?

All throughout your golf training, you’ve been focused on keeping your eyes ON the ball. So, why would you ever want to take them off the ball, especially during a shot that requires extreme concentration and focus?

This is actually an effective way to master distance control. And believe it or not, a number of professional golfers have actually used this technique during tournament play.

You probably don’t want to try this on the 18th green of a close match, but while on the practice green, hit a ball from 10 feet away from the hole. Then repeat that shot, but close your eyes or shift your focus to the hole just as you are about to make contact with the ball.

If you do this drill enough, you should begin to get a feel for the ball and how it will play on the green.

Stay Close to the Hole to Improve Your Putting Skills

As you probably noticed, these golf exercises are intended to be practiced closer to the hole – none more than 10 feet away.

As a recreational golfer, there’s really no sense spending a lot of time practicing longer putts, because the chances are you won’t be sinking those shots. But if you can just get close on those longer putts and consistently make the shorter ones, you’ll begin to lower your score in no time.

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