InsideGOLF Exclusive: This is a Tour pro’s off-week practice putting schedule

How often do you think about the way you practice your game?

For GOLF Top 100 Teacher Matt Killen, it’s a daily exercise. And what drives him crazy is when he sees amateur golfers — the golfers who most need to think about how they practice the most — approach it flippantly.

“When I go the the driving range, I see so many people who don’t have a plan,” he says. “You can’t master every part of the game with an hour on the range.”

At the GOLF Top 100 Teachers Summit at Pinehurst late last year (which you can watch in full on InsideGOLF right here) Killen, who has worked with Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and others, delved into the specifics of how he helps his students practice.

In a nutshell, Killen says there are three different kind of practice: Mechanical, warm-up, and performance practice. They each help you improve specific areas of their game, and none is better than the other. But mixing and matching can be counterproductive

“What bothers me is when golfers mix all these different types of practice,” he says. “You need a plan for each.”

To illustrate his point, he shared a practice plan that he devised for one of his PGA Tour players. The level of specificity was immediately apparent.

This is what practicing like a pro looks like

GOLF Magazine

The column on the right is technical practice — drills designed to improve your technique. Those are pretty self-explanatory. It’s the left column that I find particularly fascinating. Those are the performance practice drills he had his player run through, and they involve making:

  • 8 out of 10 putts from 5 feet
  • 4 out of 10 putts 10 feet
  • ~2 out of 10 putts from between 15 and 25 feet

That’s obviously just a snapshot of the practice session, but it underlines Killen’s point, to which golfers at home should play close attention: If you want to improve, you need to practice productively. And to do that, you need a plan.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Service Journalism at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.