Ask any good putter what separates him or her from the crowd, and they’ll most likely say, “My ability to bury the short ones, inside three feet, almost all the time.” Sure, crazy lipouts or spike marks happen, but if you really want to shave strokes off your card and be a master of the green, you’ve got to spend a lot more time on short putts — you know, the ones you always need to save par, win a wager or just build confidence. This quick yardstick drill not only gives you that all-important confidence, but also improves the path of your putter, squares the clubface at address and through the stroke, and dials in distance back and through drill.
Place a yardstick with one end at or near the edge of the cup. Place the ball you will putt with anywhere on the yardstick, depending on the length of the putt you want to work on. Stroke putts while attempting to keep the ball on the yardstick the entire time, as I’m doing in the photo sequence. For a one foot putt, you can work on bringing the putter back four inches and swinging through four inches; for a full three feet go back and through another two inches. Make a note that the putter will move off the yardstick slightly during the backswing and forward swing as well, as there is a slight arc that naturally occurs due to the angle from hands to putter head. The key of this drill is to return the putter face back to square, to have a consistent backswing-forward swing length, and to improve path.
Making this simple drill part of your regular putting routine will keep that path in perfect position, maintain a square putter face angle at impact, and make sure your backswing and forward swing remain congruent.
Based in Southern California, Alison Curdt is a PGA Master Professional and 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. Contact her at www.alisoncurdtgolf.com