Glenn Billington - Putting Coach to Professional golfers, Amateur Players
and the Valencia Golf Federation of Spain
DRILLS & prACtISE
It is so important that we do the correct drill for the problem or the improvement we want to ingrain.
The way I like to address the issues is within the fundamentals of putting. If I were to say you needed to work on the ball position? What drill would you use? To me this is obvious and it is down to using a putting mirror and to work on the putter face position when the feet are closed. The putter face is always the centre line when the feet are widened – the ball always sits just to the left of the putter, almost touching. Then you will notice this is a drill that will ensure you can repeatedly do the same thing. This is known as consistency.
Videos and advice is available on line with further information so view YouTube.com and add ‘Glennputt’ for the drills you need. Here is a list of some of the better known ones.
PUTTING THROUGH THE GATES
This is designed to assist with a task to do – ensure you hit the ball with a square putter face. If not you will hit the tee peg. Also it gives you instant feedback. Start with straight putts and then you can alter it to become left to right or even right to left.
One meter putt - set up tee pegs or objects to form a gate that the ball passes through. Not too wide, around a ball and a half wide. The pegs should be positioned on the edge of the hole.
Two meter putts – you can now add a further gate to pass though, a meter from the ball and then the second gate on the edge of the hole.
Longer Length – You can keep on extending the putt until you become confident and you then pay more attention to your intermediate target.
THE PUTTING MIRROR
A fantastic piece of kit that helps you to see what you are doing and enables you to get your eye over the ball (for right handed players it’s the left eye). It also helps you to effectively sort out your shoulder alignment. This is so important as any misplaced alignment affects so many elements.
THE TRUE PLANE
For people who are struggling with the path of their stroke then this gives you feedback of the correct path. Remember that you can move the putter a couple of millimetres away from the plane and practice not hitting it. Good drill for developing the understanding and feel of the stroke. However, if this is a long term issue then your alignment could be a concern.
A lot of players use this to get the effect of what the ball is doing when it leaves the putter and what path you are making during your stroke.
This will allow you to feel how solid you are and what your body is doing during the stroke. Feel for a solid smooth impact. You can get so much feedback from this. Feel it!
ROLLING THE BALL
So many people do not have great feeling in putting. I know I go on about the technique should be really good and then the feel will be there.
Without your putter - If I ask you to roll a ball with your right hand (right handed player) – similar to ten pin bowling you probably wouldn’t think about it and just do it? Then turn side saddle as in your putting stance and you may struggle?
See what happens when you take your ‘backswing?’ Has you go into your forward swing feel what happens in the right hand and what happens when you release the ball. Does it go straight? Or does it go in another direction.
The right hand (left hand for left handed players) is so important. It help to guide through to the target.
Go on, try it, you will be amazed!
ONE HANDED PUTTING
Right hand for right handed players and the left for lefties.
Putter with your one hand, just after you have done the ‘rolling the ball exercise’. I bet you get a different experience and feel a new kind of release through to the target?
This is a great feel drill and one that Tiger Woods used a lot!
Please work on your alignment. This is so important, necessary to give you the correct path, the correct ball position and the opportunity to sink more putts. You can use alignment ticks or a couple of clubs. Work on it and it will help you develop into a better putter.
Set yourself goals and evaluate what you do or else, how do you know you are improving?
Now you have a little more ammunition with the drills and some of the training aids make sure you set yourself for your practice. Decide on assessing yourself. Scoring yourself for the day on your practice results is so necessary to ensure you are being specific.
There are many practice games you can play. Try the ‘Round the clock’ practice where you set up balls around the hole and see how many you can sink. Short distances to start and then move further away.