The 6 Keys and Drills to Hitting Short Putts
What is the most important thing in short putts?
If you are confident about short putts, you are going to score better. On the fairway, you don't feel like you need to hit it close to the pin because you can putt well.
So short putts are important if you want to score better. But most of the amateurs don't do so well with short putts.
Commitment is the Key
Brad Faxon was known as being one of the best putter's on the PGA TOUR.
When he lines up a putt, he picks up the line. He said he trusts his first instinct. Once he picks out the line, he commits to that line.
After he sets up, he looks at the hole twice and hits it.
The worst thing is to doubt your decision. Once you start wondering in your mind, you will likely to miss a putt.
Notice that Brad is more focused on the process than the putting stroke or technique.
Do not Look Up
Looking up to see the ball is the common mistake among amateurs and even pros.
Payne Stewart who won 3 majors had same kind of problem when he was playing in the US Open in 1999.
On the last day of the tournament, he was making sure he doesn't look up during the putting stroke.
He won the US Open for the second time that day.
Phil Mickelson's Key to Short Putts
Phil Mickelson said that a square face is much more important than a good path.
You can have a prefect path or stroke but miss a putt if the face is not square.
On the other hand, even if your swing path is little off, you can still make the putt if your face is square to the target.
So try to focus more on the putter face than stroke or swing path.
Accelerate through Impact
Golfers who don't do well on short putts have a few things in common. One of those things is the speed of the putter head through impact.
They tend to decelerate clubhead through impact area. You want your clubhead to accelerate through impact, instead.
To accelerate your clubhead, make sure your back stroke is shorter than your follow through.
On short putts, Phil Micklelson makes sure that his putter head accelerates through impact.
To accomplish that, he tries to make a bigger follow through than his backswing. He said that the stroke should break down as 25% back and 75% through, though it varies slightly depending on the length of the putt.
Phil Mickelson's Drill for Short Putts
On one season, Mickelson made 542 out of 544 putts from 3 feet. That's almost 100%. But 15 handicapper only makes 74% from 3 feet.
So average players have lots of rooms for improvement on short putts.
The drill Mickelson uses is to make 100 putts in a row from 3 feet.
He puts 10 balls around the hole from 3 feet and tries to make 10 in a row. He does this drill 10 times.
Amateurs don't have to make 100 in a row. But you might want to try to sink 10 balls in a row with this drill.
After practicing with this drill, you'll be more confident with short putts on the course.
No backswing Drill
Another good drill is to hit putts without taking backswing at all.
Here is how you do it.
First, set up to the ball. Place your putter behind the ball. Now, without backswing, try to push the ball toward the cup.
You can hit putts like this from 3 feet. Try to make 10 in a row.
This drill will teach you how you can hit it straight constantly.
- Fat Shots
- Fairway Woods
- Long Iron
- Short Iron
- Pull / Push
- Shots from Rough
- Fairway Bunker