Gary Nicol’s winter putting training: Part 1

While the best of the weather for 2022 may be behind us, that doesn’t mean you need to put your clubs away until the sun reappears and the mercury rises again.

Yes it may be a bit damp, cold and occasionally miserable at times but that should not deter you from your quest to improve. Hitting balls on the range in 5 layers of clothing might not be everyone or anyone’s idea of fun, me included.

However, we can all find 20 or 30 minutes every week, regardless of the weather to head for the putting green to work on our putting skills.

Admittedly the putting green at your local club might not be running as fast and true as it does during the summer months but don’t let that put you off. You can still make great progress if you train certain aspects of your putting, regardless of the weather and green conditions.

When thinking about improving their putting, most golfers would tend to get out their putting mirrors, chalk lines, putting gates and strings and focus on their techniques or strokes.

Essentially they are working on their putting strokes, not their putting skills.

Good putting is not only about having a good stroke. You can have the best stroke in the world but if you don’t hit your ball on the right line at the right pace, you will not hole many or any putts.

Spend some time ideally with the help of a good coach who understands the importance of the skill of reading greens, enabling you to predict and control what you want the ball to do. Visualise the ball falling into the hole at the appropriate pace for that putt. Train what you will inevitably face on the golf course, putts of different lengths from a variety of places on the green and with different breaks. Left to right, right to left, uphill, downhill, long and short, the whole spectrum.

Take what you are allowed to take on the course, your putter and a golf ball. Not two, not three but one ball.

Why one ball? Quite simply because you don’t get a second or third chance on the course, so why practice or train with two or three? Each and every putt you hit is unique and should be treated accordingly.

If you want to discover some fun and interesting training exercises to make you a happier and more competent putter, pick up a copy The Lost Art Of Putting, or watch the digital download, designed to be viewed whenever and wherever you want. Both are available on our website.

Is it possible, next year could be your best year ever on the greens? Absolutely!

Work smart over the winter months and you will start the 2022 season better prepared than ever before.

Gary Nicol, co-author with Karl Morris of best selling books The Lost Art Of Putting and The Lost Art Of Playing Golf.