2019 U.S. Open: How Patrick Reed’s high-pressure ‘wheel’ putting drill can help you

June 11, 2019

I had the opportunity to watch a lot of great practice today at Pebble Beach. The practice putting green was busy with players and teachers, but it was former Masters Champ Patrick Reed who caught my eye.

Patrick set up a “wheel” around the hole with eight spokes. He had tees set up at 3, 4, 5 and 6 feet on each spoke of the wheel. He started with the 3 foot circle and worked his way around. When he made the putt, he picked up the tee. If he missed the putt, he would stay there until he made it.

It was an impressive display of focus, perseverance, and grit. Patrick Reed wasn’t just working on his putting with this drill, he was working on his mindset.

Once he finished with the innermost three foot circle, he moved back to the 4 foot circle, then to the 5 foot, and finally to the 6 foot circle. He had to make every single putt from every tee marker. It’s not easy, but he stuck with it, and it’s a wonderful illustration of his determination.

What Patrick did best throughout his drill was taking his time with each and every putt to go through his full routine. I also liked how he stayed with each putt until he experienced success.  There’s a reason: He was getting used to seeing the ball go into the hole time and time again.

Because he was moving around in a circle, he was adjusting to the changing curving of the ball as he moved around the 360 degree circle. By moving around in a circle, he had to read the break, recognize the straight putt and also adjust to the increased break as he moved farther from the straight putt.

So try this drill at home to improve your putting, because doing this can improve both your speed and control. For Patrick, it also serves as the perfect preparation for the small greens at Pebble Beach. With greens this small, everyone will miss greens and getting up and down will be at a premium. And the key to doing that? Making lots of those curving even-footers like Patrick spent so much time grinding over.