“Short-Term Feel” is what your putting stroke feels like today, and the variables you have control of that you can adjust as you execute each putt during a round. Here are two simple drills you can do, in as little as 5-minutes before your round, to feel your putting stroke.
Grip Pressure Drill
We’ll start with grip pressure first because without proper grip pressure, you can’t feel a thing. Believe it or not, your attitude and experiences prior to getting to the course, if you are in a hurry getting to the course, and a host of other variables can influence your grip pressure. And each round, your grip pressure could vary.
There is a general rule you can use to determine the distance a putt will travel; Hard = Far. Using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest grip pressure you could use to hold the putter, hold your putter normally and determine how hard or soft you hold the handle. Holding the handle with a grip pressure of 8 or more, you’ll probably hit the ball well past your target or decelerate your stroke. Holding the grip with pressure of 3 or less, the ball will not travel as far and the face of the putter becomes unstable.
Finding out your grip pressure is as easy as rolling six putts of 20 feet to a target on the practice green.
Start with the grip pressure you initially hold the handle with and roll 2 putts to the same targets. Did they end up in approximately the same place relative to your target for both distance and direction? If so, you can move on to the next step.
If not, you obviously changed your grip pressure from the first to the second putt. If the second putt was shorter than the first, chances are you adjusted your grip pressure to a softer feel than the first putt. If the second ball rolled farther than the first, the opposite is probably true. You rolled the second putt with more grip pressure. Stroke more putts from this spot to the same target until you create a consistent grip pressure that produces a similar distance result.
Once you create a consistent distance result with a consistent grip pressure, you can adjust your grip pressure softer or harder on the handle to adjust the distance the ball will roll.
Try this by using the same length stroke putting to an uphill target, adjusting your grip pressure from say the “5” you just used to a “7.” You should see the ball have more roll or distance and reach the hole. Again, using the same length stroke to the same uphill target, adjust your grip pressure from a “5” to a “3” and roll a couple more putts. You should see each ball roll short of the hole.
Repeat this process rolling putts to a downhill hole and you’ll be ready to make the appropriate grip pressure adjustments during your round of golf.