Putting is the most important part of golf and players are constantly searching for effective practice drills and methods to improve their stroke. To ensure success on the putting green one must be able to aim the ball where one intends and then putt the ball along that line. Most players seldom achieve consistently accurate aim and thus find it difficult to know whether their stroke is correct or not. Below are a few reliable putting drills and methods that are used to assist in these areas.
Aiming is logically the necessary first step when on the green. Ensuring the putter face is correctly aligned at setup is crucial to executing a successful putt. Aiming in putting is extremely difficult as your eyes work best from behind the target and not when you are positioned side-on to your target. Shooting a gun, playing snooker, or throwing darts are all evidence of this. Aiming a putter to the target is like shooting a gun while looking at the barrel from the side and in theory makes no sense. This is why a high percentage of putts are missed due to incorrect aiming rather than a poor stroke.
A common drill to work on aiming is to use an alignment stick. First address the ball and aim your putter at the desired target. Then move the ball and place the alignment stick down from the center of the putter face at a right angle to the putter face. You can then check exactly where you are aiming and make the necessary adjustments. You will be surprised at how often you are aiming at the wrong place.
It is extremely important to keep the putter face square to the target line during the stroke and ensure impact point is dead center of the ball. Once we’ve aimed correctly, it’s all about making a consistent level putting stroke to get the ball rolling on the desired path. There are many drills to assist with this and most involve alignment sticks, tees or string. Below are a few of these popular methods.
This two-tee drill places emphasis on ensuring the putter head strikes the center of the ball. To set it up simply place two tees just wider than a putter width apart. If we fail to find the sweet spot it causes the ball to leave the face in the wrong direction and at the wrong speed. It can also create unwanted side spin which makes it very difficult to execute a successful putt. Once again the tees can be made wider or narrower depending on the level of the golfer.
To set up this suspended string drill push a pencil into the ground as your target and attach the string to it. Place the other pencil directly behind your setup position. This drill will ensure that you maintain a level, low to the ground stroke because if not you will make contact with the string above the putter. It also allows you to monitor your stroke path and ensure you remain in line with the string at all times.
All of these drills can be very effective at improving ones alignment and building a consistent and level putting stroke. It is still however far from perfect and this is evident by how many top pros still miss short putts and 3 putt regularly. The Smart Putter provides a more convenient and efficient method in which to correct alignment and ensure a level stroke is achieved.