By Jim McLean
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF
(Editor’s note: This is the fifth of a seven-part series on spring practice drills.)
Problem: The player’s speed control is inconsistent.
Result: He or she leaves putts in the 10- to 15-foot range short of the hole.
Goal: To improve the player’s speed control so that all putts have a chance of going into the cup.
Practice procedure: This is one of my favorite drills that I learned from renowned short-game instructor Bill Davis. Depending on the length of the putt, the slope of the green and the general conditions of grain, place a club shaft at various distances behind the cup. You can do this on the practice putting green or when you play alone on the course. For a flat, 10-foot putt, I generally place the shaft eight inches behind the hole. I then ask the student to strike numerous putts, say 50. For each putt that goes in the hole, or hits the shaft on the ground, the player gets one point. If the player jumps the ball on the shaft from hitting it too hard, he or she will lose 10 points. For each putt left short, the player loses 50 points. This really puts the focus on speed control!
Next time: Tee-in-Grip Drill
Jim McLean is the instruction editor for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, and an author of numerous, top-selling golf instruction books. For a free intro DVD to his new Building Block Approach, visit Jim McLean Golf School.
Copyright © Jim McLean. All rights reserved. Used with permission.