Hammering a nail can improve your putting results. This pro shares how

Looking for a good putting tip? In today's Play Smart, Luke Donald explains how hammering a nail can help get the feel for the proper stroke

Looking for a good putting tip? In today's Play Smart, Luke Donald explains how hammering a nail can help get the feel for the proper stroke.

YouTube/Matt Fryer Golf

There are plenty of putting tips out there that amateurs can use to improve their golf game. Some of them focus on reading the greens, while others can be more basic (but important!), offering advice on where to position the golf ball when using the flatstick.

Regardless of which advice you subscribe to, I’m of the thinking that simpler is better.

As someone who often uses analogies to get his point across or communicate something, it’s why I appreciate the following putting tip from Luke Donald.

In the video below, Donald shares an easy visualization, describing how the act of hammering a nail can improve the putting stroke. Take a look at his tips below.

How hammering a nail can help you find the ideal putting stroke

One of the more remarkable things mentioned in the video is Donald’s 483 holes without three-putting. With that type of consistency, it’s easy to trust the 45-year-old Englishman and former World No. 1.

As Donald mentions in the video, “the best thing is learning how to get proper acceleration to the ball, and getting the correct strike. If you can strike the ball correctly every time, you’re not going to leave yourself those six-, seven-, eight-foot putts.

“If you can get it within that three-foot distance that we know about on Tour, we’re going to make 99.9 percent of putts inside three feet.”

Donald then goes on to share one of the most common mistakes he sees with amateurs — which is acceleration in their putting stroke.

ball, putter and poker chip
Improve your putting distance control with this poker chip drill
By: Zephyr Melton

“A big mistake I see amateurs make is that they think they need to accelerate,” says Donald. “So they take it back short, and they accelerate [through the backswing]; which creates a poor strike.

“You actually want to be slightly longer [in the backswing], and accelerate to the ball, and almost have a little bit shorter follow through.”

This is where Donald says the idea of hammering a nail can help determine your putting stroke.

“The analogy I like is if you have a hammer and a nail. If you were trying to get that nail into the wood, you wouldn’t [push, you would swing], and you’d get that good, solid strike on the back of the nail.

“[By doing that], it creates a lot more efficient swing, a better strike, and you can control the distance better … a short, tight finish is what you’ll see from a lot of Tour pros.”

So try using this putting tip as a way to improve your speed control on the greens. With a long-to-short stroke, you won’t only be more efficient, but you’ll also put the ball closer to the hole — helping you avoid frustrating three-putts.

Short Game Gains Precision Putting Laser

Think of yourself as a sniper, and your putter is the badass modified rifle that helps you lock on to your target. Our Precision Putting Laser goes on top of your weapon (the putter) and shows you EXACTLY how to perfect your aim, so you can feel more confident pulling that trigger.

Short Game Gains Ghost Holes

The perfect options for distance control drills with the putter and as landing spot targets for shots around the greens.

Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor