Winter is a perfect time to work on our putting strokes. In this podcast, we will go over 3 golf putting drills that won’t cost you anything, is easy to set up and do, and will transform your putting game into a strength. These drills focus on making a precise stroke, making sure the putter face is dead square at impact, and ensuring you are not moving during the stroke. Use these three drills until Spring and get ready to take money from your buddies pockets. Let’s tee it up!

Listen to the full episode here:
https://anchor.fm/dataaxisgolf/episodes/3-Killer-Off-Season-Putting-Drills-to-get-you-Ready-for-Spring-e2vjhj

 

TRANSCRIPT

Do you move during your putting stroke? Are you sure? Let’s tee it up.

Welcome, Data Axis Golf, your home for rapid golf improvement. And now from the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, next on the number one tee, your host, Aaron Stewart.

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Data Axis Golf, the podcast. Appreciate you being here. Yeah, I wanted to jump into putting a little bit. The offseason is such a good time to practice putting that I just wanted to jump in a little bit deeper. I discussed a little bit about putting back in the podcast when we are talking about targets. So I’m going to not really set up how we line up a putt necessarily. But there’s a problem that’s going on in the amateur ranks with putting that is far more difficult to diagnose that most can appreciate. And I see probably, as they’re watching, go out and play a lot of golf and hang out with different golf schools and different tournaments and those sorts of things watching High School golfers, I am shocked at how many of us as amateurs move while we’re putting. I get it. I understand the whole concept of it all. We get into our heads that with the natural motion of the golf swing, we go back and we shift to our back leg and we come back through. But so many of us have taken that movement and actually used it into our putting stroke. And it creates all kinds of problems, terrible, terrible problems. So we want to get into that today.

Okay, so we want to work in the wintertime, we want to work on our putting stroke. It’s a great time to work on our putting stroke. There’s a lot of different technologies out there that can help us do that. But I just want to talk about some real basic drills that can help us with our stroke. And then it can help us with our putter face. Make sure that our putter face is square and impact. And then we’re also going to talk about whether we’re moving or not in our putting stroke. So three drills to do this. If you use these three drills, you will improve your putting over the winter. I can promise you that 100%, this will help you.

Precision

Okay, so first off, you want to work on your stroke, we want to make sure that our strokes are very, very precise. We want to make sure that we are hitting the ball in the exact same spot on the putter every single time. Making a pot is a precision operation. We’ve got to make sure that we are operating with precision. So to do this, there’s a lot of tools out there and I know that Dave Pels has this really cool kind of putting tutor I think. It’s called it’s a little black sort of play that looks like kind of an arrow. It’s got a line pointed on it. It’s got four indentations. You take out maybe it’s eight indentations. I can’t remember now. You take out these ball bearings and you stick them in the holes and it kind of helps you with your stroke. If you watch when they warm up, you’ll see Phil Mickelson using it sometimes to work on is putting stroke. This is essentially the poor man’s version of that. So to work on your stroke, there’s a very easy way to do it.

So first off, take your putter and put it down on the ground, grab to golf balls, and on the toe, on the heel, and have your putter just to put to golf balls down there. And just put them just a little less than maybe a quarter of the ball on either side. And then do two more balls so you have six of them, probably about two inches apart on either side. And then just work on your putting stroke, just be able to move the putter back and forth between these six balls without hitting any of them. That is just such an amazing way to make sure that you’re putting stroke is super precise. And you’ll develop some fields when you’re doing this, and what that feels like to you. Okay, and just continue to work on it. The more you work and do this drill, the more you understand which feels are real and stick with you day after day after day. And which feels are completely fake and change from day to day today. And as soon as we start to distinguish between the real feels and the fake feels, then we’re going to get better, then we can trust certain things. And then we’ll know that we just don’t pay attention to other feels. OK, so we’ve talked about that before.

Next, we’re going to try to set this up via podcast. I’m going to try to paint a mental picture here. So stick with me. Hopefully, we can do this. So now we’ve got six balls set up below us on the floor and they’re all parallel to each other and they’re exactly just a little bit wider than our putter head. So the front two balls I now going to move in, I’m going to take another golf ball, and I’m going to stick that down, I’m going to move the front two balls in and tell they’re about a quarter of a ball on either side of this ball, right? So the ball can be pot and pass through these two balls, that it will only pass through these two front balls if it’s hit perfectly square. I will leave the back for balls in place. And then I’ll make putts this way, right? So will line up a ball right in front of where the putter faces and the putter is centered between the two center balls. I will take the putter back and through. And I will hit the golf ball and try to have it passed through the front two balls that are slightly wider than a standard golf ball and see if I can put through those two rails. The golf balls have become essentially rails or posts or whatever, we’re looking at, guides. And you will work, this then helps us work on controlling our putter face.

Dead Square

So we’ve worked on our stroke to make sure that it’s precise. Now we’re working on our putter face to make sure it’s dead square when it gets to impact. So we can hit the golf ball and send it on the exact line we’re looking, which in this journal, means that it will pass through the two golf balls in the front without touching on either side of them. Okay. And hopefully, you have a flat floor to do this. Hopefully, that explains that well enough. Two balls that form of a square and then two balls up ahead that just a slightly wider than us then a golf ball. So that makes sense. Hopefully, that works. Okay. When I get set up to do these sorts of drills, I tried to do 50 and 50. And then this last drill, I’ll do about 20 times. Okay, so you go 50 and 50 that will work on your stroke that will work on your club on your putter face to make sure that it’s dead square. And again, really pay attention to what you are feeling day today. Pick up on the real feels and pick up on the fake feels and distinguish between the two. That’s where learning happens.

Do not move

Okay, all right, finally. And this is the part that I was talking about in the intro. I am shocked at how many of us, including myself, move during the putting stroke. It makes sense because we move during the full golf swing. But it’s amazing to me as they go out and watch how often this happens. It’s amazing to me how it creeps back into my putting stroke time and time, and time again. I have to be looking for this all the time. And so I’ve created a method in which I can determine if I’m moving or not. Because for me, it’s very hard to pick up on. It’s not like I’m moving a ton. But even if we’re moving just a half an inch, we’ve essentially turned that stationary golf ball into a moving target. And anytime we’re trying to be precise with a moving target, we’ve got problems. So do this. As you’re standing over, and you don’t have to do this. If you want to, you can, using the poor man’s putting stroke, you know. Set up with the golf balls or not. But this is a very good way to figure out if you’re moving your golf swing or not and to work on it. So as you’re standing over the putt, and you get all set up and you’re ready to go. Just the last thing you do before you take the putter head back is taking a peripheral snapshot of everything that you can see. I started the top left of my peripheral vision and I will just kind of walk all the way around till I get back up to the top left. And I will have this mental picture of everything that I can see in my peripheral vision as I’m looking down at the ball. And then that’s all that I pay attention to when I make the stroke. And I see if anything moves. Now if I am dead still, that picture won’t change. It stays exactly the same. But more often than not, two things happen for me. And I think that this is what happens to most people. You will see that the picture shifts a little to the right or back if you’re left-handed. You will just see that the picture shifts back. Okay. Now if the picture shifts back in, okay, we’ve got a problem because we’re moving back in if it shifts back end up. Now we know that we’re moving back up. But we will be able to successfully understand which way we’re moving in our putting stroke. And if we are moving in our putting stroke. Now how often does this creep into your game? Way more often than you think it would. I have to check this to see if I’m moving into putting stroke. When I’m out playing, I know right now that if I stood up and started messing with it, I haven’t practiced my putting this week. If I stood up and looked at it, I’m probably moving a little bit. But it happens to all of us and it will creep its way back in. So when we’re out playing golf this summer, when things in spring and summer, and things start to warm up, make sure before you go out, check it every single time before go out and play on the putting green just to make sure that you’re not moving. When I’m on putting greens getting ready to putt, if I’m waiting for somebody else to finish out, I will sit there and do this drill. Nobody knows what I’m doing. Nobody knows that I’m working on something. But it’s very easy to get set up in you’re putting setup, in your putting stance. Get ready to go. Take a peripheral snapshot of what’s going on and make practice strokes and see if you’re moving and then you can work on it. If you’re just aware of that, then great! I can promise you can develop a skill where you will pay attention to that on every single putt.

Now, here’s something to keep in mind. If you are going through your round and you are feeling very, very unsettled about you’re putting, you feel like you’ve made a good read. You feel like you’ve put a good stroke on the ball but you’re making nothing and you’re starting to get a little frustrated and a little freaked out. Because putting should be so, so easy. It’s such a small stroke, you’re really not moving that much. If you ever get to the point where you’re freaking out, chances are you’re moving. And you’ve made now the ball a moving target. You’ve increased the difficulty of making a putt. So, take a quick second and look to see if you’re moving. I’m telling you, this will help a ton if you stop moving. When you make a putting stroke everything kind of becomes way more clear. And then you starting to send the ball exactly where you’re looking. You start making more putts all these precision drills you’ve done with your stroke and making sure that the putter face is squared impact. All of that is awesome if you’re not moving and if you start moving. All of it feels like complete garbage. So check that out. Take a look at it. Let me know what you think. All comments are welcome at dataaxisgolf@gmail.com or just leave comments down on the podcast where you’ve heard this. Phil Mickelson with a 60 today. Hello! He makes us old guys feel really really good about ourselves. Anyway, always remember better data and better input means better golf. Thanks.

Thanks for listening to Data Axis Golf with Aaron Stewart’s check us out online at dataaxisgolf.com and we’ll see you on the next episode.