There is perhaps no element in the game of golf more important than putting. Someone can be the saltiest ball striker at their club, but without a reliable flatstick, they won’t be winning many club championships or member-guests. Conversely, you can make up for lots of deficiencies in other areas of your game if you are a deadly putter.
With putting being so important, it’s crucial to have a solid warmup routine before you hit the course so you’re not spending the first few holes getting dialed in on the greens. To help you get the most out of your pre-round putting warmup, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Michael Hunt breaks down three drills.
1. Lag putts
Hunt recommends finding the longest putt on the practice green for this drill. Hitting three to six lag putts from this distance helps you get a feel for the speed of the greens and allows you to dial in the tempo of your stroke.
“What you’re working on is lengthening out your stroke and tempo,” Hunt says.
2. Mid-range putts
For the next drill, you should get in the 12-15 feet away from the hole, preferably finding a putt that has some break to it.
“This is good so you’re working on speed control, and also, are you reading the greens correctly?” Hunt says.
You should place a tee in the ground where you are playing the break and try rolling the ball directly at the tee. The hope is that you can make sure that any putt you miss is missed on the high side of the hole while also having good speed.
3. Short putts
For the short putt drill, find a straight putt and take a club or an alignment stick and place it directly down your target line. He recommends high handicappers be three feet from the hole while lower handicap players can back up to four or five feet. Then simply roll several putts and get the feel of the ball going in the hole.
“This is like a free throw,” Hunt says. “You’re just sitting there trying to get the repetition of the ball going in the hole before you play.”
Next time you’re on the practice green before your round, try these drills. If done correctly, you won’t spend the front nine searching for answers on the putting surface.
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