Practicing Putting Fundamentals

Warm Up Golf Putting Drills

Circle Drill:
A simple warm up putting drill is the circle drill. Most PGA tour players well practice this drill at the beginning of their routine in order to establish their feel and rhythm and gain confidence.

At the beginning of your round get to the course early so you at least have a little bit of time to build confidence by practicing several short putts to build confidence.

To Start:
  • Set seven to eight balls in a circle around the hole about a clubs length away from the hole.
  • Next, one at time putt each one into the hole.
  • Continue this process until you can make the entire circle without missing one.
  • Focus on your posture and eyes directly over the ball.
  • Also, get a feel for the length of your putting stroke for this distance.
  • Your aim is about three inches past the hole so you do not come up short.
After you are able to make the circle consistently, make another circle farther out about six feet away. Repeat the process again. Continue do this until your about ten to twelve feet out.

You will quickly notice that you will develop a consistent tempo and feel for distance.

Close Your Eyes: 
Repeat the circle drill with your eyes closed. Visualize the putt in your mind and then right before you putt close your eyes. 

You will be amazed at how this technique will improve your feel and help control your distance. Try to incorporate those thoughts in your subconscious. This technique of closing your eyes will significantly improve your self confidence and develop trust in your own ability.

Instructor Dave Pelz illustrates the circle drill using a three foot radius.

Now is also a good time to review your setup and posture. Keep checking your feet, shoulders and eyes. They should all be parallel to the target line. 

All in Row Drill: 
Like the circle drill, this is another excellent warm up drill to practice with.The payback of this golf drill is similar in that it also helps develop a feel for distance and build a rhythm. 

Start by setting up six to seven balls in a row about a foot apart.
  • Begin by putting the ball closest to the hole.
  • Next, move to the next ball that is closest to the hole but a little farther back.
  • Continue this until you have putted all the balls.
  • Your goal is to be able to putt every ball in the row in the hole.
  • You will develop a feel for how much adjustment you need to make for a small change in the distance.
  • What stays constant is the target line. Your main focus is on the slight variation in the distance.
  • Also, keep your body parallel to the target line.
Remember, you are controlling based on the length of your stroke and avoid any wrist action.

Next Step: 
Make two rows but space the balls differently. Make one row two feet apart and the second row four feet apart.

Begin with the first row with the ball closest to the hole, then move over to the second row. Continue this process by rotating back and forth between rows.The goal here is to develop feel for distance but using two different target line.

Repeat with your Eyes: Similar to the circle drill, repeat this drill with your eyes closed. Keep in mind it is important to ingrain the feeling of the various distance of each putt in your subconscious. 

  - Begin each session by hitting a series of short putts to gain confidence.
  - Visualize each putt in your mind.
  - Devote the time for practice.
  - Focus on being positive.   
  - Stay relaxed and develop trust in your ability.