Down the stretch, the last thing you want is to find yourself uncomfortable over a short putt. In most cases, the yips comes from the golfer decelerating, the putter then strays offline and well, there you have a missed putt!
To prevent this mistake, I like to encourage my students to practice this simple drill designed to help instill better mechanics near the hole. First, place a few golf balls one-to-two feet from the cup on the practice green. Make your normal stance, and then with no backswing, start pushing the ball toward the hole. Hold the finish until the ball is holed.
Get the idea? Good, now back away and do the same from a distance of three-to-five feet. By ingraining a push-feel, you're training your body to accelerate through the ball. This drill has limited effectiveness from longer distances, since most golfers accelerate from more than 10 feet anyway, but from short range, it's even more imperative to maintain a steady acceleration to produce a steady and straight roll. After all, you aren't trying to lag it, you want to make it! Once you feel comfortable from short range, experiment with putts that are straight, uphill, downhill, and putts that break to the left or right.
After a few 15-minute practice sessions working on this drill, you'll feel much more comfortable and confident over short putts, knowing that your body is trained to accelerate. All you have to do is read the line, pick your spot and make a confident stroke!
Southern California-based Bobby Hinds, PGA, is one of the area's most popular instructors, thanks to his back-to-basics approach to swing fundamentals. To learn more, call (818) 787-8163.