New Zealand Golf Magazine

LEAP FROG PUTTING

Many people tell me that they don’t like to practice golf, that it is boring and they would rather be out on the course.

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Mitchell Price explains a drill you can add to your repertoire to assist with your putting practice.

But as the saying goes – ‘you play the way to practice' so you can't expect any great improvemen­ts in your golf if you don't practice.

To help make practice more interestin­g I encourage people, especially juniors, to use drills that are more like a game than practice.

This game is great for to help you get the feel of your putts and increase your speed of play. Place a ball marker on the green five feet away on a gentle upslope or downslope. Putt to the marker, trying to stop the ball no more than six inches past it. But that's only half of the challenge. The tough part is that you have to predict right after you strike the ball whether you've hit a successful putt.

Regardless of the outcome, roll another putt with the goal of reaching the first ball but not going more than six inches past it. Again, try to predict the outcome as soon as you hit the putt. Keep going until you get out to 10 feet.

You can keep score, too. Your objective is to avoid getting points. You add a point every time you're unsuccessf­ul with the putt and the prediction, or even the prediction. (Remember, you're trying to develop feel here, so the prediction is the key.) If a putt is unsuccessf­ul but you predict the failed attempt, you get a half point. Hit a good putt and predict it, and you add no points. If you're playing against someone, the player with the fewest points when you reach 10 feet wins. If you're playing alone, try to beat your lowest score.

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