This is the third entry in the GOTM Practice Series. The goal of all the entries in this series is to not only to describe practice drills, but also make sure you know how to practice with the right mental attitude, something just as important as the physical act.
Unlike the previous two drills, this one takes a partner to complete. Which might be a little limiting, but worth it if you can find someone to practice with since this is without a doubt the best putting drill I’ve ever seen. Besides a competitor, you’re going to need two holes on a practice green that are under 15 feet apart, ideally probably 10 feet — we’re looking for makable putts.
You and the other person start at opposite holes, each putting at the same time trying to make the putt. If you both miss, or both make the putt, you stay at the same hole and hit the putts over again. If one person makes, they win the hole, and you flip sides. Once someone wins 5 holes, they win the game.
What to Focus on
Making putts. Literally every putt you need to be concentrating on making it, since the other person is doing the same thing. Think about it, if you aren’t concentrating for 5 putts in a row, you could easily lose right then. If you get someone who’s also just as involved in this drill, like I did back when I was in college at Michigan, you’ll be able to see what I’m talking about in terms of intensity. Every single putt becomes important.
I still think back to this game when I’m on the course standing over a 10 footer. I pretend that I’m trying to beat a teammate and if I don’t make the putt, I lose. Makes it much more important than just another stroke on the course. And when you’re trying to play your best, these length of putts make all the difference.
There aren’t really any variations on this drill. You’re going to want to keep the length of the putts below 15 feet if possible. Remember, the key is that each person should be making every putt, so once it gets over something like 15 feet, luck starts to become more a part of it. That’s not what we want to see. We’re looking for putts that you should make, and you should expect to make all putts under 15 feet.