Think about it, in your opinion, what’s the most important thing in successful putting – speed or break?
Well, being great a both would be fantastic of course, but the majority of all great putters say that speed is the most important of the two.
If your putting speed is right, then there’s always a chance the ball will drop into the hole and, with good speed control, you should benefit from having a very manageable second putt – if the first one doesn’t drop. On the other hand, if your speed if off, you’ll be leaving it short — and balls left short never go in the hole (this is the truth!) — or you risk running the ball way past the hole.
Another way to emphasise the point – more bad things can happen if you can’t control your speed on the greens. Fewer bad things can happen when you improve your speed control.
Below are some examples of putting speed control drills that will help you improve your feel for speed on the putting green.
String It Out – Lag Putting Drill
The basics drills are as follows:
- Cut multiple pieces of string, each piece about three feet long.
- Lay the string out on a putting green, evenly spaced, each string about three feet apart, across your chosen putting line.
- Start about 10 feet behind the first string…..now putt a ball and try to roll it just over the first string. Now putt a second ball and try to roll it just over the second string and so on. When you reach the last string, start working your way back to the first string.
Once you become good at stopping balls in-between the string, start varying the distances – put to the first string, then the fifth, then the third, then the last, and so on, varying your distances.
This drill not only takes your mind off the line, it also takes your mind off a target and allows you to focus on speed and feel.
5-Ball Mix-It Drill
This speed and distance putting drill is similar to the string drill above, except that in this one we are putting at a hole.
- Drop balls at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 feet from a cup.
- Now start from 10 feet and putt to the hole, making sure that if you don’t sink the putt, you leave the ball no more than three feet from the hole.
- Now go back to 50 feet and do the same. Then continue from each distance, but don’t go in order – mix up the distances, from 10 to 50 to 30 to 40 to 20 to 40 to 10 to 30 and so on, in random order.
The goal is to leave yourself no more than three feet from the cup with all your misses. Great distance control equals great lag putting, which means no 3-putts.
Close Your Eyes to Improve Putting Feel
This unusual drill is also recommended by various instructors and the basics are as follows:
- Place three balls, each at distances of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 feet from your target, then putt toward a hole, a tee marker in the ground, the fringe of the green, a coin or anything you wish to use.
- At each three ball location, putt the first ball as you normally would…..but for the second and third balls at each location, set up with your eyes open but then close your eyes just before making the stroke.
This drill will help improve your feel on the greens.
2-Putt Speed Control Drill
When golfers talk about lag putting, we mean that while we hope to make every putt we also want to make sure that if we miss we are left with a short, easy putt. Good lag putting means never 3-putting. This drill forces you to control your speed in order to guarantee a 2-putt.
- Set up 30 feet from the hole.
- Putt five balls at a time. Then walk to the cup and knock the balls in.
- Make 50 consecutive 2-putts. If you 3-putt, start over again.
This drill not only teaches lag putting, it also gets you into pressure situations. Imagine making 48 2-putts in a row…….putts 49 and 50 are really going to test your nerves.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you have too much trouble making 50 2-putts in a row from 30 feet, then start from a shorter distance. Try from 20 feet first and then move out to 30 when you are comfortable 2-putting from 20 feet.
A good drill, just using the fringe of the green.
- Get five balls and drop them 10 feet from the edge of the green.
- Putt toward the fringe – don’t worry about putting at a hole, just focus on speed and feel. Try to get each ball to roll about one foot onto the fringe without leaving any short and without running any beyond the fringe into the rough.
- Back up to 20 feet and repeat, then repeat again at 30 and 40 feet….
That’s it for now, putting speed control drills will definitely improve your putting and your scores, so get to it and see for yourself.
Cheers for now,