Much of the sport of golf is related to players’ short game. It can be incredibly frustrating at times, but being a good green reader and putter can make or break your golf game. Like with any sport, golf requires practice to develop your skills. They say the best way to improve your golf game is to go back in time and take it up at a younger age. You may not ever become a professional golfer or wear a certain green jacket, but try out a few of these tips and training tricks, and your short game is sure to improve.
The Clock Drill:
The simplest drill when working on your short game is the clock drill. Think of the hole as the center of a huge clock. Place three balls at three-foot increments (three, six and nine feet from the hole) at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The goal of this drill is to make all twelve shots in a row, without missing. If you miss a shot, start over from the beginning.
Develop the Right Habits:
When working on your short game, there are good and bad habits of which you should be aware. A good habit to get into is developing a routine before you putt to help block out distractions. Tap your shoes with your club, straighten your hat, tell yourself you never ever miss a shot because you’re the best golfer in the universe- whatever you choose. It may seem silly, but developing a habit before putting helps clear your mind and will allow you to focus on your shot.
The Ladder Drill:
Place a few tees in the ground at intervals of five or ten feet (depending on your shot preferences). With the goal of getting the ball to stop as close as possible to the tee, make your putt starting with the closest tee and working your way to the furthest. Once you reach the end, work your way back to the closest again. This trains your eye and helps you judge distance.
The Path Drill:
Many golfers struggle with what is called pushing or pulling the putt off line. This happens when you have an in-to-out or out-to-in swing. To test your putt line, place two clubs in straight parallel lines on either side of your ball (make sure the ground is completely flat). Leave only enough space in between the clubs so that your putter fits between them. If the ball hits either of the clubs, your swing is not on the line, and you can work on adjusting accordingly.
Another great exercise for controlling distance and improving the aim of you putt is to create a narrow space to aim through. Use books, blocks, or any two sturdy objects and place them a few inches apart, so there is a gap between. Then, line up your shot and try to make it between the small gap. As you get better, move your obstacles closer together.
Sport Court North has a collection of putting greens, panel greens and training aids to help improve your short game. Check out our options, implement a few of these tips and tricks into your routine and you are sure to develop a “driving” ambition for the game.