5 Extremely Effective Putting Drills

Any golfer knows the saying, “You drive for show, but you putt for dough.” The truth is that no matter what golf courses in Arizona you frequent, or anywhere else in the world, your short game and putting have to be “on par” if you want to have an amazing round. Hitting the long ball does look good, and it definitely can eat up distance in the fairway, but, if your putting isn’t clean, all of the ground you gain can be easily taken back.

Here is a list of putting drills compiled from different pros all over the world. These drills and tips are rated to be the most effective, and to have the greatest effect on your game.

 1. The Eye Exam!

Step 1 – Pick a target on the ground at least 20 feet away from you, such as the bottom of the flagstick. Burn that target into your brain.

Step 2 – Close your eyes, raise your arms, keeping all else very still, and point your two index fingers where you believe the target to be (still with those eyes closed).

Step 3 – Open your eyes and note where your fingers are pointing in relation to the target.

According to Dr. Craig Farnsworth, O.D., “…many players are depth deficient. They perceive the location of the hole as closer than it truly is. In some cases, their perceptual error is 25 percent. That means that a 25-footer looks like it only needs to travel 20 feet. That’s a huge cost misjudgment.”


2. The Path Drill
Many new golfers push or pull the putt off line. This is caused from an in-to-out or out-to-in swing path. The goal is to keep the swing even and keep a consistent path.

Find a flat area on the green and place two clubs on the ground wide enough to place the putter head behind the ball. Swing the putter between the two clubs and hit the ball. If the putter hits any of the clubs, you are not swinging the putter down the target line. Make sure the putter head stays low to the ground and follows through.


3. The “Foot Up” Drill (a Rory McIlroy tip)
A great drill that helps you find a solid stroke is to hit a series of putts with one leg in the air. This acts to de-stabilize you and any unnecessary movements will throw you and your stroke completely off balance. Hit 10 or 20 putts with one foot in the air and you’ll set a far more solid stroke.


4. The Ladder Drill
Step 1 - Place a tee in the ground at 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, and 40 feet away.

Step 2 - The purpose of this drill is to control the distance you hit each putt.

Step 3 - This drill begins by hitting a putt to the first tee, which is 10 feet away followed by a 20 footer, a 30 footer, and 40 footer trying to get the ball to stop as close to each tee as possible.

Step 4 - Now it’s time to theoretically close the ladder. From the first tee, hit a 30-foot putt, followed by a 20-foot putt, followed by a 10-foot putt to the final tee. Now you have successfully opened and closed the ladder.

Step 5 - The next step is to repeat this drill from the opposite direction.


5. The Ball Striking Drill
Step 1 - After you’ve read the line and gone through your routine, settle over the ball.

Step 2 - The aim here is to keep your eyes on the back of the ball, which is the contact point for the putter, for a brief period before starting the putting action long enough to say “back of the hole”. You could also count 1-2-3 and then putt on “4.”

Step 3 - Immediately after each putt (before you see where the ball went), grade yourself out of 5 on the quality of the strike, so this starts to become the goal. You’ll start to see that the better the quality of your strike (out the sweet-spot) the better the result of the putt.


Pro Tip from Golf State of Mind: Watch the world’s best players and you’ll notice them switching rapidly between looks at the ball and the target, then fixating on the ball for 2-3 seconds, then remaining in the same position for 1-2 seconds after it.

Ben Hogan was quoted as saying, “There is no similarity between golf and putting; they are two different games – one played in the air and one played on the ground.”

This couldn’t be more true. If working on your putting, short game, or your swing is something you are interested in, the Pros here at Superstition Mountain would be happy to schedule some time with you. Contact us at the golf shop; 480.983.1411

We offer some of the best golf courses in Arizona, and our professionals would love to take a swing with you anytime.