Golf Drills to Help Control Your Putting Habits

By Laird Small

Remember Self Awareness to Overcome Golf Impulses

An area of putting that is tremendously helpful for students is the area of awareness of self awareness. A lot of times players have what is called a hit impulse and what that means is that as they come to the ball there is an involuntary motion as they come to the ball and they hit it. One time they will come to the ball and they will whack it too far past the hole and since they have that history the next time they will actually slow down into the putt and not hit it far enough. There is this constant too far and then not far enough but really what they need to do is get an awareness of what is actually happening while it is happening, or catching the student in the act, which is the best learning that can happen.

Practice Putting Rehearsal Strokes

I have someone here that can help us with that, so Steven, come on in. Nice to have you here, thanks for doing this. I know you heard a little bit about what we are going to do so I would like you to start out here by making some strokes to this putt right here which is about four feet. Just make some swings back and through, a rehearsal stroke, with the amount that you feel is necessary to go in the hole. So just back and through, back and through, make them continuous with the amount that you think is necessary to make them go in the hole. That is what you think on this length putt is what you would need, alright. Now what I am going to do now is get some ball here, put them in or out, and I just want you to make a stroke no matter what I do. You just start making those rehearsal strokes back and through, keep them going, did you feel anything there. Yes, I slowed down and hesitated with you putting the ball in and out. It really caused me to be herky jerky and slow down.

Get in a Comfort Zone When Putting

Yes, versus allowing the putter to continue on its motion, would you agree with that? Absolutely. Good, let's do that again and see if you can be aware of that and if it goes away a little bit or if it is still present. Go ahead and make a few more strokes. What did you feel, did it go away? It started to go away and I started to get into a comfort zone then when you did not place the ball there I noticed that I was not hitting anything at impact.

Is that something that is a different realization for you of stuff that is happening while you are making your putting stroke and do you think that it might have an effect on the ability to control your distance? Absolutely. My putting is not consistent and this probably has a lot to do with it. You kind of caught yourself in the act of trying to hit it. Isn't that interesting.

Practice Putting with Eyes Closed

Here is a nice drill that can help you to train that. What I want you to do is to hit some putts with your eyes closed and see if you can feel the same motion when you are not interfering or trying to help the stroke along when you hit it. Let's do it again, take your set up, now the ball might be there or it might not. Close your eyes and I want you to keep your eyes closed for the whole strike. Good, start again. Let's do it one more time. What did that feel like, the same or different, did you anticipate impact? I was still anticipating impact but there was a lot less interference. It felt like a much smoother stroke based on this short practice routine.


Yeah, this is something that you can identify and now you can work towards that in your practice and get it out of your stroke. You can do this with a buddy, just tell him what to do, you can start to experience this and you can find some great revelations in putting that will actually transfer over to chipping too. Great I need that. Thanks a lot Laird, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Category: Putting
Sub Categories: Impact, Practice, Swing Drills

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650