Often I see golfers talk about their long drives and exceptional short game but when you ask them what’s their score and they would say in the 80s or even the 90s. So what’s missing in the equation? After observing a good lot of golfers on the golf course, it’s safe to say that they lack putting skills. In this article, I’ll share the best putting drills that pros perform to drain stunning putts.
Most golfers simply disregard the importance of putting whereas in reality, putting is like a ninja skill that can make or break your game. Picture this: You hit an elegant tee shot that soars through the air. Next, your approach shot is shaped strikingly beautiful like a gazelle. You’re on the green. Now you take your putter out and all of a sudden become a newborn kitten that’s put on roller skates. You mockingly laugh at your feeble attempts and think all those shots were for naught.
Well, NO MORE! Because once you’re done with the following best putting drills, your golf skills will be complete. Instead of 40 putts per round, you’ll get them down to 30. How so? Because I have been there and done that.
6 Best Putting Drills
I will rate all of the following best putting drills based on their difficulty and outcome. Some are easier while others are a bit tricky. But rest assured, all of them will beneficial for your game. I mean obviously, you want the 90s in your scorecard to become the 80s.
. Gate Drill
Requirements: 5-10 Golf balls, 2 Alignment Sticks, or 2 Golf Tees.
Outcome: Consistent ball contact
This is one of the best putting drills. If you have alignment sticks, Good! If not, 2 tees will do the job for you. All you have to do is to place the alignment sticks or golf tess parallel in a way that it becomes a gate with enough gap that a putter head can be swung through them.
Now place the golf ball in the gate. Swing your putter and hit the ball. Do the same with the other golf balls and ensure that your contact is solid, consistent, and straight. Once you master this putting drill, you won’t worry about ball contact because your putter swing would be consistent. Thus, minimizing the mishits. You can take this drill to the next level by hitting 10 golf balls and targeting 10 different hole distances. It will help you with distance control.
. Distance Control Drill / Lag Putting
Requirements: 5-10 Golf balls
Outcome: Distance Control
As the name suggests, this putting drill is all about distance control. Now to set up, select a hole and place 5-10 golf balls around it in a straight depending on your playing skills. Start with 2 feet, the next ball at 4 feet, and keep on going with as many as golf balls you have. 2 feet is not a rule. You can set up the balls to 3,4, or even 5 feet apart from each other.
Now start hitting the golf balls with your putter. You won’t master it all at once. You’ll need consistent practice. Hit all 10 golf balls. And note your power in your notes or any golf apps that you use. This will increase your control of the ball distance and you’ll ultimately know the exact power required for putting from different distances.
. Clock Drill
Requirements: 12 Golf balls
Outcome: Distance Control and Putting Line Read
As the name suggests, in this best putting drill, you will be setting up 12 golf balls like the dial of a clock. This is pretty similar to the Distance Control Drill but in this, all 12 golf balls will be placed at equal distance from the hole. The final setting should appear as if all balls are the numbers 1-12 and the hole represents the rotating dial. You can choose the distance as per your abilities.
I would recommend a starting distance of at least 5 feet because only then you’ll get an outcome from this putting drill. This drill will improve your ball striking, distance control, and reading of the putting line. Start at 1 O’Clock and move in the clockwise direction. Your target is to sink 9 putts. If you miss out, perform it again unless you drain 9 putts or more.
. One-Handed Drill
Requirements: 5-10 Golf balls
Outcome: Putting Feel, Direction, and Distance Control
This is the most common and useful putting drill among pro golfers. Just before any round, you’ll see pro golfers on the practice green performing this one of the best putting drills. One Handed putting drill is Jordan Speith’s pre-round go-to option. What you’ll be doing? Select either your dominant hand or non-dominant hand and strike the ball with only one hand.
What this one handed drill will do? Since golf is all about the feeling, it will help you in getting that feeling. Surely you don’t want to under-power or over-power your stroke. This goes for every type of golf grip but especially for putter grip, it should feel as if you’re holding a living bird. Your job is to keep the bird alive by neither suppressing it nor losing it. That’s when you get the real feel of a stroke. And believe me, the feeling of a stroke is a tale in itself.
Requirements: 5-10 Golf balls, 4 Alignment Sticks, or 4 Golf Tees
Outcome: Line Reading
This is a continuance of our gate putting drill. Instead of one gate, now you’re to make two gates for this one of the most effective and best putting drills. Set up two or more gates at a suitable distance. I would recommend starting with 5 feet but you can do so as you like. One will be at the putter end and the other will be at the hole front.
Now start striking the ball through two gates. It will improve your ball striking, direction, and reading line. If you master this drill, even if your putts are somewhat overpowered, you’ll still drain all of your putts because of your clear line reading and perfect ball striking abilities. Your golf balls won’t kiss the hole and come out anymore. Keep on increasing the number of gates for better results..
. Coin Drill
Requirements: 5-10 Golf balls and a Coin.
Outcome: Clean Ball Striking
This is by far one of the most simple and best putting drills. You’ll have to place a coin or a ball marker just behind your golf ball and strike. Your target is to not hit the coin at all and make a clean contact with the ball. This will not only help on the green but also the greenside fringe.
Many golfers hesitate to use a wedge on the greenside fringe. They go on to play it with their putters and guess what? They don’t do well even with a putter. Why? Because their ball striking isn’t clean. To all the golfers out there who have a greenside fringe shot in their bag, try this drill and see the results for yourself.
Our Best Putter Picks
Titleist Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.5 Putter
(Best Mallet Performance)
TaylorMade TP HYDROBLAST Del Monte 1 Putter
(Best Blade Design)
3. Odyssey White Hot OG Double Wide 22 Putter
(Best Blade Performance)
- How can I improve my putting accuracy?
Improving putting accuracy requires practicing proper alignment, grip, and a consistent stroke. Focus on developing a smooth tempo, maintaining a steady head position, and reading the green to judge speed and break.
- How do I handle pressure when putting?
Dealing with pressure on the putting green requires a combination of mental and physical preparation. Develop a pre-shot routine to establish consistency and create a sense of calm. Practice visualization techniques to imagine successful putts, and use positive self-talk to boost confidence. Breathing exercises and staying present at the moment can help manage nerves during critical putts.
- Should I use a mallet putter or a blade putter?
Choosing between a mallet putter and a blade putter depends on personal preference and individual putting style. Mallet putters typically provide more forgiveness on off-center strikes whereas blade putters offer a traditional, compact design with a better feel and control.
- The average PGA Tour player makes around 50-55% of putts from 8 feet.
- The average amateur golfer makes around 25-35% of putts from 8 feet.
- Putts account for about 40-50% of a golfer’s total strokes during a round of golf.
With these best putting drills, you’ll improve your putting skills beyond your imagination. These are all quite simple but their results are impressive. You’ll never know if you never try. So go on and try these in your backyard, practice greens, or even on a rug inside your house.