Golf Putting Drill: Learn to Square Your Putter at Impact with the Starting Gate Tee Drill

Symptom:  Missing straight putts at intermediate length.  Frequently muttering "pushed it" or "pulled it" under your breath as you watch the ball burn the edge of the cup yet again.  Why is is so hard to get that ball started on your intended line?

Description:  Find a flat spot on the putting green, at a distance of about four feet from the hole.  Putt five balls from the same spot and see how many you make.  If you make them all, move back a few feet until you miss at least half your putts.  This is the distance where trouble starts for you on the green. Now, put down two golf tees, about five inches apart (or just far enough for your putter head to make it through), and perpendicular to the line of the putt.  Putt another five balls from between these "starting gate" tees.  You should find that you are making more putts in short order. Have a look at Tiger, he's graciously agreed to demonstrate this drill for us:

 

Why it Works:  By always putting from the "starting gate" formed by the two tees, you are training yourself to do several important things.
  • The ball is always in precisely the same place, so the break is exactly the same, and this will not be a variable you need to contend with. 
  • The "tee gate" forms a visual cue that encourages you to square your putter at impact.  This will result in putts that are more on your intended line, with less tendency to push or pull your putts.
  • The "tee gate" also makes a physical barrier that you have to reckon with as you putt.  In other words, in order to avoid hitting the tees with your putter, you will naturally swing your putter through the middle of the tees, the same way, every time.  This consistency will lead to a more consistent strike of the ball on the face of your putter, giving you a truer roll.  Which will help you make more putts.
    As you begin to make more putts, you will start to develop confidence and assurance in your ability to get the ball in the hole, which is incredibly important for any golfer, but especially the Occasional Golfer. Give the Starting Gate Tee Drill a try next time you are on the green, warming up for your round.  I'll bet you sink more putts during your round, and have more fun as a result!

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    May all your putts roll true -- GolfTipEditor

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