Exercise outside is fairly limited at the moment but you don’t have to give up your passions during lockdown. There is no best way to practice putting at home but trying some of these indoor putting drills should help to improve your game when you get back on the green.
The key to putting is lower body stability. If your hips swing, you increase the risk not hitting the ball square with the face of your putter. The direction a ball travels is mostly determined by the angle you hit it, not the path of your swing. A correct stance should help you hit the path squarely and send it straight.
Keep a putter nearby so you can practice your stance at random points in the day. Try to bend your knees, turn your kneecaps out slightly and tighten your glutes. Your feet should ideally be parallel to each other. You can use tape or something similar to check your feet positioning. Hopefully you can get muscle memory to kick in and it’ll be second nature soon enough.
This is another way of testing if you’re sending the ball straight and also is an excuse to set up a mini golf course in your living room. Use two straight edges positioned close to each other to create a tunnel. You can use books if you don’t have pipes or lengths of wood. The aim is to get through without hitting either side.
Putting practice is at home is restricted by space but this is more of a control drill. Use three balls and putt the first one a set distance from yourself. Then with the second, aim to get it a centimetre or so further. Then do the same with the third. Repeat this drill to practice how much power you put behind your swing.
A test of power and direction behind your shot. Place another ball in front of the one you are going to putt, leaving a distance of around 15-30cm. If you hit the first ball squarely so it goes straight ahead, the second ball will also continue straight when hit.
Unlike with golf snooker, you would be hitting both balls at the same time. The aim is for both golf balls to continue straight and parallel. The difficulty here is that neither ball will make contact with your putter at the centre of the face
Cut a piece of PVC pipe slightly longer than the face of your putter and place it parallel on the floor. When you make contact, you should see immediate feedback on your angle. If you strike it with the heel or toe first, you’ll know to correct your swing next time. If you strike it central, it will roll forward.
Like on the green, a lot of putting drills for home are about hitting the ball straight. Test your skills by putting the ball along a thin object like a ruler or yardstick. You will see immediately if your ball veers to one side as it falls off the edge.
Switch up the surfaces
Golf courses don’t tend to have carpet or hardwood floors but you’re unlikely to have a perfectly mown green to hand. It’s helpful to change surfaces when you practice putting at home so you can get a better feel for different environments. Rougher surfaces use a slightly different skillset to smoother ones.
Maybe you already have a mini putting green but could still see a benefit from challenging yourself on different surfaces.
One handed putting
Try putting with only one hand on the club to increase your control. Use one hand at a time when swinging at the ball to increase control with each arm. Alternating between the two should make you a more formidable golfer when everyone is back on the course.
This one may become a little infuriating but is a great for working on your angles and how you follow through with your swing. Stack coins on top of each other and try to see if you can only hit the top one. Using a smaller object such as a coin will help you focus on your follow-through swing, rather than stopping the club once you have made contact.
Single coin putt
Instead of a ball, use a single coin or a bottle cap for testing your depth control. At first, it’ll probably be difficult to avoid striking the floor or missing altogether. After a lot of practice, you should be better at gauging the depth of your swing.
When practicing golf putting drills at home, it is unlikely you have a hole in your floor so you are probably using something like a mug as a target. Try to look for smaller targets such as smaller mugs or even the tip of a pen. Smaller targets start to remove the element of luck and replace it with precision.
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