Is your putting stroke square to your target line at impact? I doubt it…
Many of you will be surprised to find out that completely straight 15 foot putt will miss the cup – if your clubface is either open or closed by simply 1%. That’s a very large margin for error. This post will cover some cool little drills you can perform to gain a better understanding of where your clubface is aimed at impact – and how to improve your consistency on the greens.
Start practicing with the Double Ball Drill… as this is the easiest one to perform.
Setup two golf balls so are perpendicular to your target – the best way to do this is to drag your putter behind the balls until they are even to the face. Ensure that each ball is not touching. Finally, instead of using a hole, simply lay a club down, perpendicular to your target line some 5-10 feet away. The hole is too small of a target for this drill.
Practice hitting two balls at once towards your club – if your clubface is square the balls should hit the club at the same time and quite close together. If not, one will hit before the other, and you have more work to do.
Next up on the difficulty scale is the Bottle Putting Drill….
The setup is very similar to that of the double ball drill – the only difference being, you’re now putting a full water bottle towards your club. I found this one particularly difficult. I found that it helped on focusing on the stroke itself rather than physically trying to manipulate the face to ensure it was square at impact. It’s very important to focus on performing your usual putting stroke on all these drills.
If your water bottle rolls right, your clubface is open; left, your clubface is closed. A perfectly square putt will see the bottle roll dead straight.
The final drill is the Tape Roll Drill…
This one rates about as tough as the bottle drill with one added benefit – you get better feedback as to which way your clubface is facing at impact. Again, if the tape roll rolls right, your clubface is open, left it’s closed. A perfectly square clubface will see the tape roll straight toward your club with minor wobbles.
The only difference when setting up to the roll of tape is to lift the putter head a couple of inches from the ground so you impact the roll of tape near it’s center – if you hit it too low, the roll will get some air and the landing can skew your results.
Incorporate these drills into your putting practice time, and check your stroke often to help keep your putter square into impact. Good luck with this one – with some practice you should see a dramatic improvement in your overall putting.