A simple putting drill that works
Confidence is the key to great putting. Most players can lower their score by 3 to 5 stokes a round by improving their putting.
Often a simple putting drill is all that is needed to improve your putting.
Surprisingly, the distance where players will see the most gain is within 9 feet of the hole!
If guaranteed an automatic two putt from nine feet, most mid to high handicappers would jump at the offer.
What if offered the same, plus increasing the chances of one putting from that range, how would you feel?
I used the effective methods in the Putting Game Improvement Program to fast track my putting success.
It works great and is perfect for low and high handicap golfers who have little time to practice.
A good start to improve your putting
Putting is very individualized; however all great putters have the same fundamentals.
There are as many variables in putting as there are in making a full swing. Similar to a full swing, making solid contact is key to a great stoke.
Making consistent contact builds confidence and provides a great foundation for making subtle adjustments to other aspects of your putting.
Making solid contact every time is not difficult. Repeating the saying “BACK 6 FORWARD 12” putting drill as you go through your pre-putt routine is the first step to becoming a great putter.
What does this mean? Ensure your putter head follows through twice as far as you draw it back.
This will allow for a greater chance the ball will travel on its intended line and distance.
An Effective Drill
The 3-6-9 putting drill is a quick and easy method to ingrain your newly developed “BACK 6 FORWARD 12” putting stroke.
Sometimes referred to as a ‘star drill’ for short putts, experience tells us that putts between 5 to 9 feet is where most high handicap players will save the most strokes.
The result of using this drill will be improved confidence within the deadly 9 foot zone, which should in turn improve your golf score.
How to do this putting drill
The 3-6-9 putting drill is inexpensive and easy to set up. First, grab 12 tees from your bag; stand beside the hole and take one step; place a tee.
Take another step; place a tee.
Finally, take a third step; place a tee.
Return to the hole, rotate 90 degrees and repeat this process three times. When all twelve tees are in place, the pattern should look like an X.
Next, take three balls and move to any line. Putt all three balls from 3 feet, until you sink three. Then move to all the lines and sink 3 balls from 3 feet.
Now, move back to the 6 foot position. Instead of sinking 3 balls before moving, sink only two. Repeat from all four lines.
Finally, move back to the 9 foot position. Sink one and move on until you have sunk a ball from all four lines.
This process will likely take about 10-15 minutes max and that includes set up.
Tiffany Mika demonstrates the same principle in the video below.
As your putting skill improves, increase the number of balls sunk from the 6 and 9 foot positions until you are consistently sinking three balls in a row from each position before moving.
To add realism and fun to the drill, move to random positions within your nine foot radius and sink three balls consecutively before moving.
This will simulate actual game conditions of having different length putts hole after hole.
It's your turn
By focusing on the BACK 6 FORWARD 12 technique when using this easy 3-6-9 putting drill once or twice a week, players will be amazed on how many strokes are saved each round.
Additionally, this skill will greatly improve their confidence, gain the awe of their friends and eliminate the dreaded 3-putt!
This article was written by The Grateful Golfer, Jim Burton who has over 35 years’ experience on the links and plays to a single digit handicap.
His blog, www.thegratefulgolfer.com focuses on sharing tips and tricks to lower everyone's score.
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