This is the seventh entry in the GOTM Practice Series. Does anybody actually read these intros or just ignore cause it’s in italics?
On a practice green, hit two putts towards a hole, then pick the spot of the toughest remaining putt (usually the furthest away), and hit both balls from that location. Repeat until you hole out. If you’ve ever played a scramble, it’s the same thing but opposite, but pick the most difficult shot rather than the easiest.
The distances of the initial putts should vary, but also include much longer putts that you’d normally practice on a green. We’re working on getting speed and overall break here. Practicing long putts helps a ton with speed on shorter ones.
I’ve also found that 9 holes is a good length for this drill. More than that and it starts getting difficult to concentrate if you’re like 4 or 5 over. You can always do another 9 after a score reset. Ideally, this is done with another person so you can play a competitive match, or at least help keep each other focused.
What to Focus On
As always, this is the most important section of these practice series posts. It’s pretty easy to just go ahead and whack some putts and go through the motions. Doing this will never get you better.
With worst ball, you’re going to notice after you hit the first putt that you see the break and speed better and can adjust for the second putt, and usually (hopefully) get that second putt closer. The key is to know your tendencies, and adjust to compensate for them before you hit your first putt. Seriously, just this little amount of thought will go a long way.
Later, when you’re on the course, you’ll be in the right frame of mind to read the break and speed of putts. You’ll be thinking like you practice.