I watched Tommy Fleetwood practice putting for an hour. Here’s what I learned.

November 20, 2019

One of my favorite things to do whenever I’m at a tour event is to take a few moments and watch the way Tommy Fleetwood practices. Not on the range — even though you can learn a lot there — but on the putting green.

Golf fans may think of Tommy Fleetwood as more of a ball-striker, and while his game from tee-to-green is undoubtedly superb, his putting flies slightly under the radar: He’s been 38th and 55th in SG: Putting his last two seasons, and he’s had a number of clutch performances on the green, notably at the 2018 Ryder Cup.

It’s all the result of hard work alongside his putting coach, Phil Kenyon.

And that diligence shines through every time he’s on the practice putting green. Below are some photos I snapped over two days at the British Open earlier this year). Keep a close eye, and you can learn a lot.

Before every putt, Tommy and his team would go through the same routine.

First, he’d read the putt using his Aim Point technique.


Then, Kenyon would go and check the read using a level. The goal is to make sure Tommy Fleetwood is calibrated so that what he sees matches what’s actually happening.


Once all that’s checked out, Kenyon steps away and Fleetwood lines up his golf ball towards the spot he’s picked out.


Then he’ll stand up and double-check the line, sometimes having a quick chat with Kenyon about it along the way.


Once his line is set, he’ll steep up to the ball with a couple practice strokes.


And then, finally, he’ll hit the putt.


And to repeat: He does this Every. Single. Putt.

It may seem tedious, but watching it in person, there’s a certain flow to it all. Like a dance. And it’s something golfers at home should try to replicate. There isn’t a putt that Tommy Fleetwood hits that doesn’t have a purpose. And when’s he’s practicing, he’s not just practicing rolling the ball; he’s practicing his routine, his mindset, his strategizing, and everything else. He may not hit as many putts as other golfers, but the putts he does hit are more meaningful. He’s practicing with a purpose, and that’s why, when he needs to come through clutch, he so often does.