Hole Putts: Try Michael Breed’s Putting Drill

Get your speed right to sneak in more putts

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - michael breed op­er­ates his academy at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in New York City.

Alot of golfers think the key on long putts is speed and shorter putts are more about line. Ac­tu­ally, speed is crit­i­cal on all putts. The pace of the ball dic­tates the size of the hole. If you hit a putt firmly, the ef­fec­tive width of the cup might be two inches, but if the ball is rolling slowly, the cup might play twice as wide. So let’s work on your speed.

Here’s a great drill I use all the time. Set up an imag­i­nary box us­ing four tees, three feet wide and about a foot-and-ahalf deep. Drop three balls five feet from the cen­ter of the box, and try to roll all three into it ( above). If a ball doesn’t come to rest in­side the bound­aries, start over. Once you get all three, move back two feet, and do it again. Then go back an­other two feet, and so on, un­til you’re about 15 feet out. Re­mem­ber, a miss means you have to start over from that dis­tance. This isn’t an easy drill, but when you get good at it, you’ll have dis­tance con­trol—and be­lieve me, you’ll make a ton more putts.

An­other ben­e­fit is, you’ll be­come a bet­ter green-reader. Why? Be­cause you can’t re­ally pick a line un­til you know what speed you’re go­ing to roll the ball. Get your speed right, and you’ll see your lines more clearly. You’ll de­velop a feel for com­bin­ing speed and break—and that’s what great put­ters do.

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