How To Practice Putting
START BY FINDING THE PACE
Speed is everything - just watch the pros. It’s obviously important to know how to read greens and to be able to start your putt on the correct line, but without the ball rolling the correct speed it’s unlikely to go in.
Learning how to improve your putting feel is a good place to start. Don’t focus on holing putts straight away, simply hit a few from various ranges. You can set up a sem-circle of tees like below if you wish but you needn’t get bogged down by the exact distance. The important thing is to make sure you’re hitting some mid and long-range putts.
HOW TO PRACTISE BREAK
Once you have a better understanding of the pace of the greens, introduce a few more variations to your putting practice. Specifically, identify part of the green where you get can more of a feel for the slopes and breaks. Vary the slopes, so you can hit a few putts from the flat, as well as uphill and downhill ones.
Find a spot where you can practise some left-to-right and right-to-left putts. Remember, on faster greens the ball will break more, especially as it slows down. It’s a good idea to get used to watching the ball run past the hole if it doesn’t drop, so you get a good look at what it's going to do on the way back.
We’re all guilty, at times, of not structuring our practice sessions. Drills can give us more of a focus and a sense of purpose; they also help to get the competitive juices flowing, even if we’re just competing against ourselves - plus they can create a bit of pressure, which is going to help when you’re stood over an important putt in a competition.
Here are a few of my favourite drills you may want to incorporate into your practice sessions...