HOW PROS IM­PROVE PUTTING

Today's Golfer (UK) - - PHIL KENYON -

1 When Tour pros prac­tise their putting, ses­sions are of­ten split into three parts. The first is based around feed­back, and us­ing things like gate drills or mir­rors. If a player is work­ing on their set up, they might place a mirror on the ground or use a putting tem­plate to give them feed­back on their stroke shape and what it needs to feel like. 2 Once they’re feel­ing com­fort­able, the next step is on de­vel­op­ing skills, and that can in­volve us­ing cer­tain ex­er­cises to test their green read­ing or abil­ity to con­trol their speed and match it to their start line. A great drill is to read a putt, get a feel for where you want to start the ball and place a gate down and roll the ball through it. If the ball doesn’t go in, it’s ei­ther a speed or a read is­sue. 3 The fi­nal part is usu­ally some kind of per­for­mance drill, where there’s no feed­back or fo­cus on tech­nique. The chal­lenge is to get the ball in the hole. The hur­ri­cane drill is a per­fect ex­am­ple. To set it up, place six balls around the hole so the first putt is from three foot, the next is from four foot, the one af­ter that is from five foot and so on. It should cre­ate a spi­ral around the hole so ev­ery putt is a dif­fer­ent dis­tance and an­gled across the slope, and re­quires you to con­trol your speed rel­a­tive to the read. Added to that is the pres­sure of need­ing to hole ev­ery putt. You can only move on once you’ve holed all six putts con­sec­u­tively. You could be there for a while, but it fo­cuses the mind, makes it more rel­e­vant and in­cor­po­rates lots of skills.

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