Do you struggle with lag putts? Are you generally good a putter, but crack under pressure? Do you lose your focus and get scrambled over a long putt? Do you sometimes stand over a long putt and have no clue how hard to hit it?
If so, this is a great putting drill for better putting
Feel for long putts
Feel is an ethereal quality that they say can’t be taught. It can be true that people have varying amounts of feel gifted to them, but everyone can develop better feel; and we can develop it quicker with quality approaches in our practice.
There are certainly technical elements which can aid feel – but an elite player can putt, roll or even kick a ball towards their target with accuracy. When I am teaching I often one-handedly bash a ball back to the pupil and have it gently roll up to their feet using poor technique. So what else is involved in feel?
A stronger mind for putting
Through my teaching, I have seen that a simple shift in focus can dramatically improve the feel of a player for putting. This will help you immensely. I hope you enjoy your new putting successes 🙂
- Start at 10 feet away from the hole
- Putt 2 balls towards the hole – one long of the hole and one short.
- Now we use our ‘seal the deal’ ball. The goal with this ball is to get it to finish in between our long and short shots. If we are successful, we have ‘sealed the deal’.
- Next, pace off (using your foot length) the distance between the long and short ball. If it is 6 feet or less, you move on to level 2.
- If your long ball doesn’t finish long of the hole (or in the hole), you start again. If your short ball doesn’t finish short of the hole, you start again. And if your ‘seal the deal’ ball doesn’t finish in between the two, you start again.
- Level 2 is the same game, but from 15 feet. Level 3 is 20 feet. Level 4 is 25 feet – ad infinitum.If you don’t “Seal the deal” in 3 attempts, you go back a level.
Transferring it to the course
This putting drill is great because it allows us to instantly transfer the skills to the course.
All you have to do is stand over our putt and do three practice swings – one which you feel would go slightly long, one which you feel would go slightly short, and then one in between. Then hit with that last feeling…
Why it works
We are always battling two internal fears – the fear of hitting it too long or short. Many times you will stand over a putt fearing hitting it past, only to proceed to hit it woefully short. One of the best ways to overcome fears is to confront them (by actively saying “this is too long/short”) before having a final thought of what you DO want (“this is in between”).
Poor putters also tend to get their attention too internal (thinking about swing mechanics). Science shows us that performance suffers with an internal thought process and improves dramatically with an external focus of attention. This drill really helps to get your attention out on to the awareness of the hole – a trait of great lag putters.
Poor putters also tend to lose focus on their attention – sometimes they get distracted. This mental exercise (and adding it to your routine) will really increase your focus on the task tenfold.
This putting drill also induces pressure in practice, so you learn to deal with it better. The “seal the deal” ball has a lot riding on it – helping you deal with positive pressure (the pressure of gaining something). The fact that you have to go back a level if you don’t seal the deal in 3 attempts helps you deal with negative pressure (the pressure of losing something).
To learn more about Adam Young and his coaching, you can visit www.adamyounggolf.com