Crushing a 300-yard drive off the tee always feels great. And every time we go to the driving range, we work on crushing those drives. If we feel like there’s enough time, we might work on our putting a bit too, even though we know that working on our putting can significantly reduce our scores.
In this post, I want to share some putting drills for speed, putting drills for distance control, and putting drills for alignment, which you can do at home and on the putting green, that will keep your scores low.
You can always tell a golfer who works on their putting (best putter for bad putters) vs an amateur. A person that practices their putting consistently almost always gets their first attempt to drop or very close.
With an amateur golfer, you can tell almost immediately if there are going to be close or not. We’ve all see putts, where as soon as the ball comes off the putter you can tell it’s way short or way too much.
This is because they are probably spending too much time working on crushing drives vs dropping putts.
Quality putting is about distance control from long range and precise aim on the short ones. Distance control is the big thing on the long putts. If you judge the speed right, you’ll almost always be left with a simple second putt. But if you judge it wrong, you might be three-putting, and those can cause sleepless nights.
For the long putts, a longer slower stroke might be something to try out. If you try covering long distances by whacking your putt, it can get quick and punch, which usually causes a mis-hit.
You want the putter head to accelerate through the ball, so think long and smooth. More distance comes from a longer stroke, not a burst of speed at impact.
Drills to Improve Putting
Distance Drill Putting
To work on keeping your speed in check find a hole that is about 50 feet away. Place a tee at 15, 30, and 40 feet away from the hole. The goal is to roll three putts in a row from each tee into an imaginary three-foot circle around the hole.
Start out in the middle and then progress to the other two tees. This will prevent you from getting into a grove or hitting strength pattern. If you start either really close or at the farthest tee, it’s easier to gauge how hard to hit, based on previous distances.
You want to work on knowing how hard to hit based on distance, not on previous putts.
Consistent Putting Stroke
This drill is designed to make sure you’re contacting the ball with the desired spot on the putter. Place two tees just a bit wider than your putter. The toe and heel of the putter should be able to swing back and forth through the tees with minimal clearance on each side.
Place a ball on the side just past the tees, so that your putter has to swing through the tees without contact. If you start to hit either tee on a consistent basis you’ll know that the plane of your putter stroke is off, and you can make adjustments.
Once you start hitting the ball with the center of your putter, all that is left is speed and reading the green. Similarly, to driving the ball, if you’re not hitting the ball with the center, you’re liable to have a mis-hit. This drill will correct that. The good thing about this drill is you can do it on the practice green or you can use an indoor putting green.
Star Putting Drill
This one involves a bit of space around the hole. Surround the hole with 4 golf balls of equal distance from the hole. Based on your experience, you want to start at a distance where you start to miss the putts.
A beginner might start at two or three feet, while a more experienced putter can start further out. Once you’ve made all 4 holes from that distance move the balls back about one foot and repeat. The goal here is to work on the feeling of distance and to simulate stress a bit.
Once you’ve made 3 in a row, the 4th will add a bit of stress, so that you can progress. If you miss you have to start over. Just like on the course, there will be stress. This drill will help.
Quarter Drill Putting
This putting practice drill can be done at home, just as long as the surface is fairly flat. The goal here is to place a coin at different distances and hitting putts that roll right over the coin.
A quarter is a pretty small target, so hitting a putt from several feet away that goes right over the top of the coin, will show that you’re hitting the ball with the center of the putter and with a flat face. If the ball is running off the edge of the coin or missing it completely, you’ll know that your stroke needs some work.
Golf Tee Putting
This drill is designed to work on your speed. You don’t even need a hole for this one. Place a tee about 20 feet away. With three balls try to stop the balls just inches short of the tee. Next, try to hit 3 balls just inches past the tee. And then finally, work on hitting three putts right to the tee. Proceed with this drill at different distances. Pretty soon if you’re not hitting 20-footers, you’ll be only inches away for an easy second putt.
Two Foot Putting Drill
A large majority of us can sink a two-foot putt almost every time. But can you hit that two-foot putt right in the middle of the cup? If your stroke is straight and you’re missing off to the left or right, you’ll know that the face of your putter is twisted.
But if it’s straight and your stroke is straight, from two feet away you can hit the middle or edge of the cup with relative ease. Additionally, by sinking these kinds of putts, you’re building confidence. And as we know, confidence and the mental side of golf can greatly impact your score.
Conclusion of Putting Drills for Juniors
The good thing about putting is the amount of strength needed is very minimal. Unlike driving or even iron shots, a certain amount of strength and club speed is warranted. With putting, anybody can sink long putts without engaging developed muscles.
For juniors, it’s best to keep it fun entertaining. If you can make it into a point game between a couple of players, putting practice will be that much more fun and engaging.
Keeping three-putts to a minimum really depends on distance control, reading the greens, and hitting the ball with the center of the putter (best center shafted putters). Some of the aforementioned drills can be done at home, and others you might need a putting green, but if you stick with it, you’ll be marking more pars and birdies in no time.