New Year, New Game: Putting Like Clockwork

December 27, 2016
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The New Year is nearly upon us, so it’s time to start thinking about golf for 2017. We’ve assembled some basic tips to serve as a New Year’s Resolution for each facet of your game.

Can’t sink a breaking putt to save your life? You may be underreading the amount of break, or simply thinking too much about speed. Either way, you can probably use a fresh approach, and this “clock drill” may be just the ticket.

Find a breaking putt on the practice green and set down four tees around the hole, at 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 and 12:00 o’clock (as shown). Now pick a spot, or “time,” at which you want the ball to enter the cup, then visualize a curved line running from the ball to that spot and start the ball on that line. When you get good at this, try to sink the same putt at a different spot on the clock (your speed and line will have to change), then move around the hole to see how the ball reacts to different breaks and reads. By focusing more on a specific spot at which you think the ball will drop into the hole, you’ll start to feel much more comfortable over breaking putts.

Instead of just rolling your breaking putts toward the hole, make a specific spot on the edge of the hole your target. Picture the hole as a clock to make this easier.

Once you get comfortable putting to a spot on the clock, putt to a different spot. Then move around the hole to create different breaks and reads, and sink those at different locations around the cup.