These 3 drills will help you hit the ball closer to the hole

Use these three drills to start hitting shots closer to the hole.

Gale Peterson

There’s nothing that will bring your handicap index down faster than improving your game around the green, and the easiest way to do that is to practice doing three things: making solid contact, achieving consistent trajectory with your wedges, and honing in on your distance and directional control. Try the following three drills to improve in each of those areas.

1. Solid Contact Drill

Try the “tilted stork” drill to improve your ball contact. Gale Peterson

Making solid contact is the key to repeatability and consistency. If putting is not an option for your shot around the green, then try hitting shots with a narrow stance and your weight on your lead leg (see photo above). Hold a club on your sternum and let it hang over the instep of the lead foot. To stay on your front leg throughout the whole swing, lift your trail foot and prop it up behind you, balancing on your toe. I call this position the “tilted stork.”

Try hitting a dozen shots this way to get the feel of correct weight distribution and solid contact.

2. Shot Trajectory Drill

Experiment with trajectories to find out which is most comfortable for you. Gale Peterson

This drill will help you acquire better feel and improve your visualization skills. Being able to control your trajectory is also a major factor in getting the ball closer to the hole. In the photo above, I have a swimming noodle on two sticks and I alternate hitting shots on a low, medium and high trajectory. The medium trajectory shot is easiest for me, so I try to play it on the course whenever possible. 

Discover what works best for you, and put the shot to use during your rounds.

3. Distance and Direction Control Drill 

Use rings to create landing zones of different distances. Gale Peterson

I found some rings at our local toy store and use them as my landing-zone drill props (hula hoops or even tees set up like a runway would also work). If time permits, I try to land three shots in each circle before moving on to another drill. I usually experiment with a combination of different clubs until I find the right one for me and each ring. 

If you commit to practicing these three fun and productive drills, you’ll be hitting shots closer to the hole in no time!

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