The most basic goal in the golf swing is also the most basic goal in putting: Hit the ball solidly, with the center of the clubface. This concept gets a ton of attention with full swings, but almost none on the greens. When a putt comes up short, the blame goes to “didn’t hit it hard enough” or “focused too much on the line.” In reality, the culprit is usually an off-center strike.
“We all mis-hit putts when we really shouldn’t,” says Tiger Woods in Episode 5 of his new video series “My Game: Tiger Woods,” from GOLFTV and Golf Digest. “It’s one of the reasons why I do the Tee Drill all the time. . . . Set two tees, basically leaning up against the heel and toe of the putterhead. To get through the tees, I have to swing the putter so I hit the ball right in the middle of the face.”
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The putting stroke might seem simple compared to all the twisting and turning of the full swing, but you still have to establish good mechanics. The key is finding out what produces those pure strikes and how to do it on a consistent basis. That’s why Tiger’s drill works so well: It gives him instant feedback and grooves the feels he wants.
“I like feeling the face rotate,” Tiger says. “I like feeling my right hand hit. I like to feel the load in my stroke going back and the release coming through.”
It’s worth noting that Tiger practices this drill right-hand-only first, then adds his left, then alternates between right and both hands. He’s incorporating the feels he likes into his normal stroke. The purpose of using drills is to isolate a move or position, train it, and then make it a part of the technique you play with. And as Tiger says, hitting the ball in the middle of the face is the top priority, whatever the club.