LPGA star says this is the best advice for junior golfers
Drive for show, putt for dough. It’s an oft-cited cliché in the weekend golfer’s lexicon, but it certainly has some merit to it. For players, especially in the recreational ranks, a steady putter can be the difference between a milestone round and just another Saturday of missed chances. But even with this in mind, it seems as though many players don’t spend near enough time dialing in their feel on the greens.
According to LPGA Tour star Danielle Kang, practicing feel on the greens is the piece of advice she’d stress most for junior golfers. If kids can roll the ball well in their adolescence, it will certainly serve them well as they move through the ranks of junior and amateur golf.
“For the kids, I would love to tell them to always work on their putting,” Kang said. “People underestimate how much you can shave down shots by just practicing speed with your putting. I think that instilling good feel and good distance control when they’re young is really important to play good, especially later down the road.”
But what are some good drills to reinforce proper speed on the greens? Kang shared one of them in a 2017 video with Golfing World. She said she likes to make a square with tees around the cup with roughly a putter’s width between them. She then paces out putts between 18 and 30 feet and rolls three putts from each spot. Kang tries to make every putt either go in, or pass the hole, forcing her to really pay attention to her speed.
“This drill helps me keep an aggressive stroke and helps me keep in mind that you have to have the ball pass the hole,” Kang said.
There are few pros more equipped to dole out that sort of advice than Kang. She has ranked inside the top 50 on the LPGA Tour every season since 2015, and her 2020 campaign has been quite tidy as well. She owns two victories on the season — both immediately following the return to golf — and leads the official money list by a healthy margin.
The only thing that’s missing this year is a major title, which she’ll chase this week at the ANA Inspiration.