Instruction editor Hannah Holden takes a look at all the weird and wonderful training aids on the practice green at Portrush. So which can make you a better putter?
Putting is a funny topic as there are so many elements to match up. It is a miracle we actually manage to hole many putts at all.
First you need to read the green, then line up correctly, start your ball on the intended line and get the correct pace. Then there’s the external variables such as a imperfect putting surface, wind direction, and so on.
Far too often I see amateurs practising their putting but never with much purpose and very rarely collecting any feedback on which element actually needs improving.
So let’s take a look at what some of the best players in the world do to dial in their putting…
Best putting drills at the Open: Start-line drill
One of the most simple yet hugely effective putting drills is setting up a chalk line on a flat putt and rolling some putts down it. Very quickly you will get feedback on if you are starting the ball where you’re aiming.
Here’s Joost Luiten working with it…
Not only does the chalk line show you if you are starting the ball on line, it also helps aid alignment training your core putting skills. You will never hole many putts if you can’t start the ball where you are aiming.
Once you have mastered this you can make the drill more tricky by using a chalk line on sloping putts to work on matching line and pace.
Best putting drills at the Open: Club face and path control
If you are setting up with a chalk line and still consistently missing putts then you have some technical work to do.
Below you can see Dylan Frittelli working with the Putting Arc T3 (in travel size), a training aid which helps control your club face and path…
The arc gives you feedback on if you are swinging the putter on-plane and trains a consistent putter path. The lines on the guide help the club face stay square to the path.
Best putting drills at the Open: Green reading
One of the best training aids I spotted was courtesy of Romain Langasque. The device which looks like a miniature rollercoaster, is actually used to work on your green-reading skills.
So many players spent hours working on their technique often believing they have missed putts due to a push or pull when the reality is they just read the break incorrectly.
The device comes with a built-in laser so you can perfectly line the device up with your intended target line.
After this simply roll balls down the device to see if you have selected the correct line. By placing the balls at different heights you can create different pace putts and see the different lines the ball can be holed along.
— The Perfect Putter (@ThePerfectPutte) November 9, 2018
Once you have found the correct line, use chalk to mark a line along the front edge of the device. This can be used to set your club face up on for perfect alignment and allow you to practise hitting putts along the correct line.
This drill is great for working on matching the correct line and pace on breaking putts.
I know it’s easy to dismiss putting drills like this as gimmicks or fads, but if they’re good enough for the best in the game then they’re good enough for you and me.
If you have any good putting drills that work for you, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me.