A drill to help make short putts

David Nesbitt

Problem Area: Short Game
Series: Instruction Feature

Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010 | 3:38 p.m.

It's no secret that under pressure one of the most nerve-racking golf experiences is the 4-to-6-foot putt.

Two of the most common reasons for missing these short putts are: 1) the putter face is not square to your putting line at impact, and 2) a decelerating forward putting stroke.

This easy-to-set-up training station will help you increase your percentage of made putts from this distance. It will also create a more reliable stroke and increase your confidence when you encounter these putts under pressure. What you need for this putting drill: Two golf clubs, two tees, three or four golf balls.

How to set up the training aids: 1) Place the two golf clubs parallel to each other approximately 1 inch wider than the width of your putter head (the clubs should aim directly down your intended putting line). 2) The grip-ends of the two clubs should point to the hole. 3) Stick one tee into the green just outside of the outermost golf club at a point where the club shaft is exposed at the grip. This tee represents where the ball should be placed for every putt. 4) Place the second tee approximately 8 inches behind the first tee. This tee represents the length of the backswing.

How to use this training aid: 1) Swing the putter back and try to keep from hitting either of the club shafts. This will keep your putter face square through impact. By maintaining a square putter face and a straighter club path, you ensure that the ball will travel along your intended putting line. 2) Bring the putter head back no further than the second tee and accelerate through the ball so the putter head finishes at or beyond the butt-ends of the golf clubs. Accelerating through the ball will result in a more fluid stroke and truer roll. 3) Practice this drill for 10-15 minute increments then try making these short-range putts without the training aids.

I promise you will see your percentage of putts made in this distance range go up considerably.

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