Smooth Operator

Practice for better putting mechanics




Before your next round, here are two simple drills I want you to do on the practice green. Don't worry, they're simple and they're both designed to help you make smoother, more rhythmic strokes, as well as hone in on your distance control.

First, I want you to ignore the cups on the practice green and putt a ball about 15 to 20 feet. Once you do that, I want you to take two more balls, and try and roll them out to the exact same distance. This will help you develop a better idea for the speed of the green, and because you're not fixated on a target, it will help you develop a better sense of distance control. Practice this for five minutes, and you'll be good to go.

Second, I want you to stroke a few putts from 5, 10 and 15 feet using the same baseline stroke for each putt. Meaning, whether you're 5 feet or 15 feet away, I want you to swing the putter from shoe to shoe and not take the putterhead farther or shorter back and through. Practice this drill, and you'll see that your tempo increases on short putts, but your putter swing stays the same. Do that for another five minutes, and you'll have a better day on the greens.

Andy Patnou, PGA, teaches at the TOURAcademy at the TPC of Scottsdale in Arizona. For more information, visit touracademy.com.



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