9 Top Golf Putting Tips: How to Get Better with a Complicated Golfing Skill

9 Top Golf Putting Tips: How to Get Better with a Complicated Golfing Skill

If you’re not actively trying to improve your putting, the chances of it improving without practice are slim to none. Various golf putting tips boost your chances to get better with a complicated skill in playing golf.

Notably, every player wants to get shoot lower scores, yet a very small percentage spend time practising the things that matter. Instead of trying to bomb more drivers or hit more 7-irons on the range, you should become obsessed with your putting.

At a certain level, the number of fairways and greens you hit doesn’t matter. Tiger and Phil are two of the winningest players on Tour yet they rarely hit the fairway compared to other players. They understand it’s all about scoring and specifically, holing putts when it counts.

To quote, Tiger Woods said in his autobiography entitled ‘How I Play Golf, “I’m at least as captivated by putting as I am in the full swing. That’s why I practice putting so much.”

Luckily, this list of the best golf putting tips is a guaranteed way to help you improve dramatically on the greens.

Types of Putting Practice Drills

Before we get into the best putting drills, it’s important to differentiate the ways you can practice putting. Here are the three main ways:

Pre-Round Warm-Up

Before the round, the number one goal is to get accustomed to the speed of the greens. It’s not to try and drastically improve your putting stroke or make any big tweaks. With this type of practice, you shouldn’t even worry about making long putts.

Instead, the goal is about getting the speed and seeing as many short putts get into the hole as possible. This will help you build confidence before the round. Do your best to avoid any warm-up three-putts and instead focus on making putts.

Block Practice

Block practice is where you focus on your form and technique more than holing putts. In fact, a target isn’t even required with block practice. When you’re working on the fundamentals and mechanics, stay away from targets entirely.

Instead, focus on making the new moves that you are trying to ingrain. Because when you’re thinking about your stroke while putting to a hole, you are basically training yourself to miss putts. Take out “trying to make it” and focus on making the changes to help you become a better putter.

Block Practice style drills are great if you are working on things like putting topspin on your putts or fundamentals like aiming the putter.

Competitive Practice

The last main type of this sort is known as competitive practice and where the best putting drills come into play. Just like in any competition, you have a goal in mind. You aren’t just mindlessly putting around!

Instead, a competitive practice will let you have a set drill and goal. This will help you focus and add a competitive feel to your session even if you’re doing it alone. If you want to step up the competitive level, recruit a golfing friend to join and maybe even add a friendly wager.

The great thing about competitive practice is that it requires a little greener reading than simple block practice or a pre-round warm-up.

Golf Putting Tips: Best Drills to Follow

Putting is one part of the game where you can do things very different from the rest of the field yet still get the intended result. Here are some of the best golf putting tips that you can learn from this article:

One-Handed Putting Drill (Block Practice)

You’ll often see Tiger Woods doing this drill and has said it’s one of his favourites. By using your right hand (or dominant hand), you are training your stroke to be at the same pace back and through.

This drill is great for improved stability in either hand and will help you become more aware of the putter’s face throughout the stroke. The goal is to learn more about the feeling of how the putter’s face should release through the stroke.

No need to put a target on this drill. Simply use it on new greens or if you’re trying to reset your stroke after a few bad rounds.

Phil’s Circle Drill

The circle drill is a great drill used by one of the best players in the game, Phil Mickelson! As one of the golf putting tips that we have, this drill is all about developing confidence and consistency from the three-foot range.

If you can make 90% or more of your 3-footers, I promise your game will improve. You will feel more relaxed on long putts because you’ve trained your stroke for close range if you miss.

To get started:

Place 10 balls in 3 ft in a circle around the hole.

Putt each one into the hole. If you miss a putt, start over.

Initially, set your target as 20-30 made putts in a row and then try for 50 or 75 or even 100.

Phil does this before each competitive round which is very impressive. Try to do this once a week to stay sharp with the putts that matter most.

In a Line Short Putting Drill

This drill will help improve short putting under pressure and is great for competitive practice.

Here’s how you can get started with this golf putting tip:

Place 5 balls at 3-4-5-6-7 ft from the hole forming a straight line. Try to pick a putt that is relatively straight with a little break.

Start by putting the ball from 3ft and work your way back to 7ft.

Try to make all 5 putts in a row. If you miss a putt, you have to start over.

Doing this drill during practice will help simulate pressure putts from a short-range and focus your attention on making them.

Clock Drill

The clock drill will help you test your putting from six feet and in. Here’s how to get started:

Insert tees into the putting green at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 feet intervals in four lines around the hole.

Make one putt from each tee in a row. (i.e. Make all the two footers before going to the three footers)

Then four, five, and six-footers. If you miss, start over or allow yourself to miss one from the five and six-foot range.

Alignment Rod Putting Drill

To help you find the perfect speed on mid-length putts, give this drill a shot. This golf putting tip is used by a lot of Web.com and Tour players to help them dial in speed on the new greens they play each week.

Lay an alignment rod down 18” behind the hole.

Using 10 balls, find a putt of 25-30 feet. Repeat these three times for a total of 30 putts using the scoring system below.

Try to put each ball at least enough to the hole but short enough to stay short of the alignment rod.

Here’s how the scoring works:

Hole the putt = 2 points

Past the hole but short of the alignment rod = 1 point

Past the alignment rod = -1 point

Less than two feet short = 0 points

More than two feet short = -1 point

Try to score 20 points or more per 30 putts. As you get better, adjust the score or change the difficulty of the putt.

Lag Putting Drills

While you want to get long putts close to the hole, the goal is to never “lag it inside three feet”. This bad habit allows golfers to get lazy and not pick a specific target.

Also, this attitude for long putts will leave you with more 4-6 footers than you care to have in a given round.

Instead, use this lag putting drill to get closer to your second putt:

To get started, pace off putts of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 ft from the hole (not all on the same line).

Hit one putt from each location, until you get all five putts in a row within a 3-foot radius of the hole.

If you fail to get a putt within 3-feet, start over.

For more golf putting tips on improving your lag putting, read on the next drills.

Before the Round Putting Drills

The next time you get to the course before your tee time, watch how most golfers warm up. Thus, it is safe to say that 99.9% of players start with these golf putting tips:

Throwdown 3-5 balls and start putting at the holes without hitting any previous putts to gauge speed.

Try to make some long ones and even attempt putts that set them up for three-putts.

After five minutes they get bored, and head to the bar, range or 1st tee.

This is setting you up for failure on the course! Your goal before the round is one thing only, get confidence by nailing the speed of the greens.

Here are the best golf putting tips to set you up for success before you head to the 1st tee.

Putt to the Fringe to Warm Up Distance Control

With this golf putting tip, the goal is to learn the speed of the greens without concerning yourself with direction or trying to make it. Instead of putting it towards a cup, put it to the edge of the fringe from 20-30 feet in several directions. This drill will make sure you’re not focused on making it and hit putts from different directions.

Drain the 3-Footers

Once you’ve got the speed down, start seeing the ball go into the cup. Don’t start practicing 15-30 footers which statistically, even PGA players rarely make. Instead, start making as many 3-footers as you can. I try to make at least 30 before my round.

Putt to a Tee for 20-30 Footers

Once you’ve seen the ball go into the hole for the short-range, make sure you practice the mid-range putts. But instead of putting to a cup, hit to a tee. This smaller target will make you focus more and also emphasize speed, not trying to jar it in.

Final Thoughts on the Best Golf Putting Tips

Hopefully, you now know to no longer wander onto the putting green and not know how or what to practice. If you want to improve your game, at pretty much any level, focus on learning our golf putting tips more than anything else.

Use these competitive practice drills and new pre-round routines to set yourself up for success. I’m confident if you sub out some range time for putting practice, you’re going to shoot lower scores much more consistently. One last suggestion, find a good indoor putting green so that you can do some of these drills in your spare time at home.

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