Improve your putting with this ladder drill

Gary Nicol and Karl Morris are co-authors of the best-selling book The Lost Art Of Putting, so who better to give us some putting tips? This time, they show us a drill that involves just a few tees…

The ladder drill involves a handful of tees and will help you to improve your putting. The first thing you do is make a semicircle of tees around the back of the hole, a grip length away from the hole.

You then place a tee a few feet away, then another tee a few feet past and so on depending on how far you want to go back. The aim of the game is to hole the putt but make sure you don’t go outside of the tees behind the hole.

If you come up short or go past the tees you need to start again. If you hole the putt or finish in between the tees and the hole, you can move onto the next station.

You don’t need to move to the next station on the ladder. If you want you can go from the first to the third or simply whatever range of putting you want to work on the most. The only rule is that to move onto a new station you must either hole the putt, or make sure the ball does not travel past the tees.

Watch the video at the top of the page for more advice from Gary and Karl.

How to make the most of your time on the putting green

How can Trackman performance software help you to improve your putting? Gary Nicol is joined by Trackman expert Matt Wiley at Archerfield Links to talk through a few of the parameters that will help you improve on the greens.

Here, they ask what you would do if you had 10 spare minutes on the putting green before a round.

“If you get the pace right all of a sudden putting becomes a lot easier. You take away the opportunity to three-putt if you get the pace right as you tend to be not too far off with the line.

So if you can do some exercises on your pace putting you really can help towards getting rid of those three-putts altogether.

If you are able to use a Trackman whether that be with your local pro or have access elsewhere, being able to measure your putts is a great ability to have. It really shows you your tenancies and being able to know your distances is a great way to learn.”

Gary hit four consecutive putts around 16.5 feet. Without Trackman, he wouldn’t be able to appreciate the distance the ball travelled.

The Trackman putting performance software is there so you don’t have to guess. Knowing what numbers your putts are generating is key to learning what you need to improve.

Watch the video at the top of the page for a full explanation from Gary and Matt.

Try this two-ball drill to improve your putting

Gary Nicol and Karl Morris are co-authors of the best-selling book The Lost Art Of Putting, so who better to give us some insight into how to improve our game on the greens?

The first of a series of eight instruction videos from Archerfield is about line and pace…

Bradshaw’s Balls

This is a drill used by the late Harry Bradshaw, one of Ireland’s greatest golfers and three-time Ryder Cup star.

Before heading to the 1st tee, almost every golfer will head to the putting green and take three balls out of their bag. Next time, take two out and putt your first ball to somewhere on the green – but not to the hole.

Pay close attention to how your ball reacts.

With your second ball, try to imagine a spot under the first ball and dislodge that ball with enough pace so the second ball comes to rest on that very spot.

If the second ball dislodges the first ball you will have hit your second putt on the right line with exactly the right pace.

Watch the video above and give it a try next time you’re working on your putting.

improve your putting

What is your skid and roll ratio?

improve your putting
How can Trackman performance software help you improve your putting? Gary Nicol is joined by Trackman expert Matt Wiley at Archerfield Links to talk through a few of the parameters that will help you improve on the greens.

The first aspect they look at is skid and roll.

Skid and roll numbers can vary massively and this will result in the distance the ball travels also varying quite a lot.

If you have too much skid on a putt you are more often then not going to see your ball coming up short. Having a higher roll percentage will usually give you a more consistent distance.

Below are two examples of putts that have huge variation in the skid and roll numbers.

The first showing the on a 35 foot putt Gary’s ball skidded 55 inches, which is extremely high. The ball only rolled for 84% of the putt which meant that Gary was struggling to keep control of the ball.

The second putt was a lot better. Gary almost halved the skid distance and he upped the roll percentage by 6%. This allowed Gary to keep the ball under more control and make a better putt.

The Trackman putting performance software is there so you don’t have to guess. Knowing what numbers your putts are generating is key to learning what you need to improve.

If you’d like to learn more about how Trackman can help your putting there’s a section in the book The Lost Art of Putting, by Gary and Karl Morris, which is available on Amazon.

The Lost Art of Putting

The Lost Art of Putting, by Karl Morris and Gary Nicol and featuring a foreword from 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, is available in hardback and for Kindle from Amazon in the UK and US.

There is more than one way to hole a putt

Do you only see the ball going in the hole one way? We join Gary Nicol up at Archerfield Links to show you that you are limiting to yourself to just one option when putting.

Gary explains in the below visual that there is actually room for three golf balls to go in the hole at the same time depending on the pace and line.

The ball on the far right has a much slower ball speed but a different line where it drops into the hole on the right side. That is now your entry point for that specific putt.

The middle balls entry point is a little closer to the middle. It has a slightly faster ball speed and a more straight line.

The ball on the left has the fastest ball speed and with this one you are effectively taking all of the break out of the putt.

Gary adds:

“If you concentrate solely on the line you are limiting yourself to just one option. Whereas if you think more about the pace then you have three different ways the ball can go in the hole.

Concentrating just on the line will mean if you are just a centimetre off the ball won’t drop.”

Watch the video at the top of the page for Gary’s full explanation.

Does the ball roll at a constant speed when putting?

What are your initial thoughts when stood over a putt? If you are focusing on the start line we would strongly advise that you rethink that strategy. Gary Nicol is on hand to explain how to improve your putting, with the help of Trackman Performance software.

“If you focus on the last few feet of the putt rather than the start line you get a better idea of how the speed should be as the ball approaches the hole.”

Why it’s so important to hit your putts out the centre

How much do off-centre strikes with your putter affect the roll? We join Gary Nicol up at Archerfield for some putting tips using Trackman software to validate the data.

“What do you use an alignment aid on your putter for? Many amateurs use the alignment aid to simply line up the ball, but forget that it can help them simply find the middle of the putter.

With having lines on the ball it can be really easy to start matching those lines up with the alignment aid and forget about where the centre of the clubface is.”

Gary asked Michael to hit three putts, one out of the centre, one out of the heel and a final strike from the toe. He then measured each putt with the Trackman performance software. The results are below…

As you can see from the results the centre-striked putt traveled an extra four feet and made it past the hole, the two poor strikes came up two feet short of the target.

You will also notice a very similar ball speed from the two poor strikes in comparison to the faster ball speed of the good strike…

Hitting a  putt out of the centre sounds like an obvious ting you need to do, but many amateurs can get too fixated on the line. Even if you get the line right, if you don’t strike the centre of the putter face the chances are you won’t hole the putt.

Get those long putts close every time with Paul Lawrie

Judging distance when putting can be a complicated part of the game. Eight time European Tour winner and former Ryder Cup star Paul Lawrie gives us a few putting tips on how to become more confident on the greens.

One of the main things you need to do is put towards your target circle of 3-4 feet. If you get the ball inside there you can feel confident about tidying up.

Watch the video above for more tips from Paul Lawrie on distance putting.

Hole those short putts every time with Paul Lawrie

Are you struggling when you leave yourself a four-footer? Need some short putt tips? Eight-time European Tour winner and former Ryder Cup star Paul Lawrie gives us a few tips on how to become more confident on the greens.

Watch the video above for Lawrie’s advice on nailing those tricky ones every time…