The 5 Best Putting Drills For Immediate Improvement

By Anthony Mahone
Published on
down the line angle of putter practice

Improving your putting is undoubtedly the fastest way to lower scores in golf. There is a reason why many amateurs spend so much time on the driving range but so little time on the practice putting green. By dedicating practice time to your putting, you will see immediate feedback and lower scores.

If you’re ready to elevate your golf game and shave strokes off your score, you have found the right blog post. Imagine consistently sinking putts and confidently navigating the green while your opponents struggle. In this article, we’ll unveil our best putting drills – a powerful combination designed to help you master alignment, stroke consistency, and distance control – the trifecta of a successful putting game.

Key Putting Drill Takeaways

  • Transform your putting game with our favorite putting drills.

  • Master green reading and distance control skills for lower scores.

  • Warm up with confidence-building drills to get ready for success on the greens.

The Ultimate Putting Drill Collection

Golfer practicing the best putting drills.

A solid putting game can make or break your golf score. Spending time on the putting green, practicing putting with intention, and focusing on various aspects of your putting technique, including holing putts, can significantly lower your scores. To assist you on this journey, we’ve chosen the best putting drills that target alignment, stroke consistency, and control of distances.

At Swingcrafters, we handpicked our best drills to transform your putting game, helping you gain the edge you need on the greens. Regular practice of these drills will enhance your putting performance, leading to improved results on the golf course.

Best Putting Drills for Technique

When a golfer learns to start putting, or is working to improve their putting, ensuring proper technique and feel is crucial. At Swingcrafters, we have compiled the best putting drills for golfers who are just beginning in the game or are looking to improve.

The putting green is an area that demands careful attention and focus. When looking to fine-tune your skills, the journey to becoming a proficient putter begins with purposeful and dedicated practice. One of those ways is developing a series of drills that will improve your game.

Utilizing a putting drill is the building block of a consistent, reliable, and confident putting stroke. We have compiled our favorite drills and methods for putting practice that will help players of all skill levels.

Down The Line String Putting Drill

golfer practicing the Down The Line String Putting Drill

The Down The Line String Drill is our favorite drill to improve your alignment and target focus with short putting. This drill involves using a string, stakes, and a mirror to ensure your eyes are correctly positioned over the ball. To set up the drill, attach the string to two stakes, placing one stake behind your golf ball and the other about a foot past the hole. Position a mirror where the ball will be putting from, and you’re all set to start practicing.

Set up over the golf ball and ensure that your eyes are directly over the ball or slightly slightly inside the golf ball. This makes sure that your eyes are on the intended target line of the putt.

Consistent practice of the Down The Line String Drill enhances your capacity to visualize the straight line of the target line, resulting in more accurate putts. The drill helps you develop a better sense of alignment and target focus, essential components of a successful putting game.

Golf Putting Alignment Mirror

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10 Ft Putting String Guide

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Ball Marker or Penny Drill

Golfer demonstrating the ball marker or penny drill

The Ball Marker or Penny Drill is an excellent way to improve your putting stroke consistency. This drill involves placing a penny or ball marker 6 inches in front of and behind the ball on the green. The placement of these markers will aid in ensuring a straight back and forward motion with your putter, ultimately improving your stroke.

Adding the Ball Marker or Penny Drill to your practice regimen aids in developing a smooth, reliable putting stroke. The visual alignment the markers provide will train your muscle memory, allowing you to hit putts with increased confidence and accuracy.

4 Through 8 Around the Horn Putting Drill

The 4 Through 8 Around the Horn Drill offers an exciting challenge that tests your putting skills from various distances. To set up this drill, place tees around the hole in a 360-degree manner, starting with the 4-foot distance and progressing to 8 feet from the hole. Go around the horn four times, aiming for a perfect score of 20 points.

Golfer demonstrating the 4 through 8 around the horn drill.

An easy way to measure is by using the putter for the putter length. The average putter ranges from 33″ to 36″, or roughly 3 feet. Lay the putter down from the hole, so that will be three feet, two times that distance will be the 6 feet position. Then each odd distance can be paced off by your foot.

Practicing the 4 Through 8 Around the Horn Drill builds your adaptability to varying distances and enhances your overall putting performance. The drill helps you fine-tune your distance control and accuracy, making it an invaluable addition to your practice routine. It also assists with a wide array of putts including various degrees of left to right and right to left putts.

Best Lag Putting Drills

Lag putting is a crucial skill that can help you avoid costly three-putts and improve your scores. The goal of lag putting is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible, minimizing the length of your second putt. To help you develop better control of distance, we’ve selected two of the best putting drills that will challenge you, refine your practice, and control your distances on the green.

To The Fringe Putting Drill

golfer practicing the to the fringe putting drill

The To The Fringe Putting Drill is one our best putting drills for developing your distance control and improving your speed on the greens. For this drill, you’ll need a putter, a golf ball, and a putting green with a fringe.

Start the practice about 15 feet from the fringe line, and hit three balls that barely make it onto the fringe of the green. The goal is to avoid leaving the ball short or putting it long into the rough.

As you become more comfortable with this range, move back 5 feet and repeat the process, gradually increasing the distance. Practicing the To The Fringe Putting Drill enhances your comprehension of the green’s speed and teaches you to adjust your putting stroke length for varying distances to improve your putting practice.

Alignment Stick Lag Putting Drill

Golfer demonstrating the alignment stick lag putting drill.

The Alignment Stick Lag Putting Drill is a great drill that is a fun and competitive way to improve your distance control and accuracy. This drill requires a putting green, a putter, and a series of alignment sticks positioned two feet behind each hole. The drill is competition-style, with each player taking turns putting from various distances. Points are awarded for made putts and penalized for short or overly long putts.

Scoring is as follows:

  • Putt In The Hole: 2 Points
  • Putt Between Hole and Alignment Rod: 1 Point
  • Putt Past the Alignment Rod: – 1 Point
  • Putt Less Than Two Feet Short of the Hole: 0 Point
  • Putt Greater Than Two Feet Short of the Hole: -1 Point

Engaging in friendly competition with the Alignment Stick Lag Putting Drill adds enjoyment to your practice while simultaneously sharpening your distance control and accuracy under pressure. Continued practice of this drill enhances your lag-putting skills, leading to a reduction in your scores on the golf course. This is one of the best putting drills for competition-style practice.

Perfect Your Green Reading Skills

Reading the greens effectively is crucial for making better putting decisions and lowering your scores. By understanding the break and speed of the putt, you can make more putts start on the intended line and reduce the chances of three-putting, giving you a needed competitive edge on the golf course. Perfecting your green reading skills involves mastering a variety of techniques and tools for a smoother reading of the greens.

Some of the best techniques to read greens in golf include:

  • Reading on the way up

  • Starting behind the putt

  • Using your feet

  • Choosing a pace before putting

  • Taking in your surroundings (creeks, streams, ponds, lakes, ocean, etc.)

Pay close attention to how the green slopes as you approach it, visualize the line and break of the putt, walk around the green and feel the slope with your feet, determine the speed you want to hit the putt based on the slope of the green, and observe the area around the green to identify any slopes or contours that may affect your putt.

Using these techniques enhances your ability to read the greens, resulting in the best putting decisions and reduced scores.

Pre-Round Putting Warm-Up Routine

An effective pre-round putting warm-up routine prepares your mind and body for a round of golf. Warming up your putting stroke and building confidence in your short putts can help ensure a strong start on the greens. In this section, we’ll introduce two warm-up drills that focus on calibrating your distance control and building confidence in short putts.

The Distance Calibration Warm-Up

The Distance Calibration Warm-Up is a simple yet effective drill that helps you get a feel for the green speed and adjust your stroke accordingly. To perform this warm-up, practice putts from various distances, focusing on the tempo and rhythm of your stroke.

Frequent practice of putts from the same distance and differing distances in the Distance Calibration Warm-Up enhances your perception of distance and control over the speed of your putts. This warm-up routine will ensure you’re better prepared to tackle the greens during your round.

The Short Putt Confidence Builder

The Short Putt Confidence Builder is a fantastic way to boost your confidence in sinking short putts. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Before starting your round, find a straight putt on the practice green.

  2. Sink a series of short putts from 2 to 3 feet away.

  3. The goal of this drill is to create a positive memory bank for making short putts and increasing your confidence on the greens.

Consistent practice of the Short Putt Confidence Builder develops a steady, reliable stroke for short putts. This warm-up routine, also known as putting practice, can ultimately lead to better results on the course, ensuring you start your round with confidence in your putting abilities, especially when facing the same putt multiple times.

Putting Drills Summary

In conclusion, putting is a vital aspect of golf, and mastering the art of putting can significantly improve your scores. By consistently practicing the putting drills and techniques outlined in this post, you’ll enhance your alignment, stroke consistency, distance control, and green reading skills. So grab your putter, hit the practice green, and watch your golf game improve with lower scores and less putts on the green.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to improve my putting?

The best way to improve your putting is to practice your putting. By utilizing our best putting drills, we have drastically improved our putting over the years. Golfers will not improve their putting by wishing, they will get better by practicing.

How do you practice putting effectively?

Practicing putting effectively can be done by maintaining a purposeful practice session that is designed for putting improvement. Focus on one aspect of your putting before moving on to the next portion of your putting practice. Perfect practice is permanent.

What are the main benefits of practicing putting drills?

Practicing putting drills can lead to improvements in alignment, stroke consistency, distance control, green reading skills and overall performance, resulting in lower scores on the course.

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Anthony is the founder of Swingcrafters and a lover of all things golf. Anthony was the individual champion of the 2005 West Virginia State Golf Tournament and worked as the Assistant Golf Professional at Heatherwoode Golf Club in Ohio. He is a career Firefighter/Paramedic and loves the outdoors.

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