Symptom: You lack confidence in your putting stroke. There’s almost no distance of putt where you can confidently say, “I can easily make this one”.
For you, every putt, no matter how short, is another knee-knocking adventure. So you push some, pull some, leave some short, and so on. Maybe you compulsively purchase putter after putter, thinking that the problem is your equipment…
Overview: On the putting green, find a level, straight, slightly uphill putt. Put several balls in a straight line, starting one foot from the cup, with each successive ball two feet further away. Putt the nearest ball in the hole, then the next nearest, and so on. This will give you confidence. Repeat until you are making the longest putt most of the time.
Why it works: This drill is all about confidence, about walking before you run. It’s a great drill to do before every round of golf you play. Indeed, if you have limited warm up time, and only two minutes on the putting green before your foursome has to tee off, I suggest you do this drill. It’s your best use of time.
Putting Confidence From the Balls in a Line Drill
By sinking the close putts, you gain confidence in your putting. Each successive putt is only a few feet further away than the previous putt, and on the same line, and straight, so you maximize your chances of sinking the putt. You will find that you need to make ever-more purer putting strokes to sink the longer putts. And in so doing your confidence in your short putting will grow, which will help reduce the number of dreaded three putts during your round.
Andy North demonstrates the drill for us. Have a look:
You must not let the line on your golf ball wobble to have a consistent roll, especially at longer range. And, of course, even straight putts need an aiming point. Once your stroke is pure, you should combine this drill with the surround the cup putting drill, to get a feel for the break in the greens, in all your putting practice sessions (if there is time, of course!). Over time you will build confidence in your short and intermediate range putting through this drill. And with confidence comes better scores, more fun, and a lower handicap!
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