HOW PROS IMPROVE PUTTING
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.