We’re officially nine days into spring and golfers everywhere are waking from their winter slumber eager to hit the links. To get you ready for the upcoming golf season, the LostGolfBalls team has put together some home DIY tips. No, we’re not talking about backsplashes. The drills we’re referring to are going to help you improve your putting all from the comfort of your living room.
After all, it’s drive for show and putt for dough. So grab your putter, change out of those pajamas (or don’t, they’re probably pretty comfy) and prepare to bake up a more consistent putting stroke.
Quiet, Please: The key to a repeatable putting stroke is a solid base; too much lower-body movement hinders your ability to consistently deliver the putter head to the golf ball. If you think you sway too much in your stroke, here’s an easy drill to help silence those hips. Set up with your putter and park your bottom on a nearby wall. Make a few strokes and focus on keeping your caboose firmly connected to the wall. The less you move, the more you’ll make.
End-Over-End: The sign of a solidly-struck putt is a golf ball that rolls end-over-end. It’s what the pros shoot for every single time, and so should you. To help you get the golf ball rolling correctly, simply use a Sharpie to draw a straight line – emphasis on straight – around the circumference. Place a glass a couple feet away and roll some putts. Focus on getting the sharpie line to travel end-over-end – any wobbling is indicative of a poor swing path. Start slowly and concentrate on the feeling of keeping the putter face square at impact.
Excel at Acceleration: Many top teachers believe the proper putting stroke is about 40% back-stroke and 60% follow-through. Better putters accelerate through impact (most of us can attest, deceleration causes nothing but trouble). A great way to feel the power is to use a ruler. Place a golf ball at the four-inch mark and two stickie notes (labeled “1” and “2,” respectively) at the beginning of the ruler and the 10-inch dash. Swing the putter head back over No. 1 and accelerate through impact to No. 2. Excelling at accelerating is excellent technique.
Can Opener: Want a drill that will instantly tell you if your putter face is square at impact, and as a result, your golf ball starts on line? Grab two cans of soup (chicken noodle is our favorite) and place them about eight inches in front of your ball with a small gap in between. Pick your target and try and roll the golf ball between the two cans. If you hit the can on the right (for right-handed golfers) your putter face was open; knock the can on the left and your putter face was closed. Shoot the gap, shoot lower scores.
Chase the Rabbit: Here’s a fun way to develop consistency, tempo and feel. Simply putt one ball away from you – any distance works – then “chase” the first ball with the second. Try and re-create your first stroke by getting the second ball to barely touch the first. This will help you feel how far you have to bring the putter back to hit the golf ball a certain distance.
Do you have any favorite drills you do at home to improve your putting? We’d love to hear from you, share your tips in the comments below.