If you read last week’s article you’ll recall that golf is one of the worst practiced sports in the world. The reason is that we don’t practice in a way that prepares us for the variety of circumstances that we’ll face when we actually play the game on the course. So, over the next few weeks, I’m going to give you one single way to practice to add pressure to your practice and prepare you for competition. Let’s start with my favorite: Putting (after all it represents more than 40% of the shots you hit in a round).
The Title of this drill: Drawback.
In drawback you’ll feel lots of pressure on both your long putts and short putts. You’ll feel fear over your short putts, and you’ll get overly cautious on your long putts. You’ll have to dig deep mentally and stay totally committed to your full pre-shot routine. Line up each ball you hit, and work to get “under par”.
Here’s the game. Par = 18 putts on 9 holes. Seems easy right? Wrong.
You’ll play “9 holes” of stroke play on the putting green. Your first putt must be a minimum of 15’ (5 paces) up to 45’ (15 paces). Go through your full routine and hit your first putt. If you make it move on to the next hole. If you miss your first putt, then you must “draw back” the ball away from the hole by one putter length (most putters are 35-37 inches in length) and hit your second putt from there (example: if your first putt ends up 4 feet from the hole, then one putter length “drawn back” would leave you 7 feet from the hole for your second putt). Then you must go through your full routine and try to hole the putt. If you make it move on to the next hole, if you miss it, draw it back again from where that second putt finishes. (For example, if that second putt from 7 feet misses the hole one foot past the hole, draw the ball back a putter length, and attempt your third putt from there (now 4 feet long) with your full routine). Repeat this process till the putt is holed, then move to another putt from 15’ to 45’. Repeat until all 9 holes have been played.
Note, I have seen people crushing this drill and making a 7-putt or worse. You’ll need to stay incredibly focused, disciplined, and resilient to shoot around or under 18 strokes.
Want an extra challenge? Play this game against someone for added pressure! Or try it for 18 holes on that putting green!
This putting drill is one of my absolute favorites and will challenge you in ways you don’t normally feel in your practice! Let me know how you do, what you experience, and what you learn from this game… fyi… playing it once isn’t enough… this needs to become an absolute staple to your practice!