Most golfers are guilty of using the smaller muscles in the hands and the arms when swinging the putter through the ball. This creates a huge amount of inconsistency through the putting stroke, both in being able to control the putter face in hitting the ball on the correct line to the hole, and in generating the correct speed to hit the putt the correct distance to the hole.
If the bigger muscles in the shoulders are used, while keeping the rest of the body as still as possible, then the putter can be swung in a more pendulum orientated motion. This gives far more control and enables the putter face to swing more on line with the hole and also helps to use the rhythm of the shoulders to control the pace of the putter.
For this putting drill, keep things nice and simple to begin with. Practice on a short, six foot putt that is perfectly flat. As improvement is seen, and the drill becomes more familiar, begin to practice on more complicated, breaking putts of different lengths.
Place two tour sticks on the ground, parallel to each other. The first stick is placed approximately two inches away from the outside of the ball and pointing two inches to the right of the hole. This is the target line. The second tour stick is placed next to the feet, parallel to the first stick, at a comfortable distance from the ball. This allows correct alignment of the feet, knees, hips and shoulders with the hole, and encourages good habits of aiming correctly to give the best chance of making a good stroke.
This is a great putting drill to develop three things; good rhythm, a controlled putting stroke for consistency, and aligning the body correctly to the target.
The putting stroke is now achieved by taking the putter backwards and forwards through the ball, powered by the shoulders in a rocking action. If the head, legs, arms and hands are kept absolutely still, the putter should produce a slight arc-like motion through the hitting area. This occurs as the putter swings around the spine and can be likened to a door swinging open around a hinge. If this action is performed correctly, the putter will not touch the stick outside of the ball at any point. If, like most golfers, the hands and arms are used to control the putter and push it through the ball, the putter head is more likely to get pushed off line and into the outside tour stick, or ‘wobble’ in and out of line through the ball. This will become very easy to observe in this drill as the relationship between the tour stick and the putter head is easy to see.
This is a great exercise to build a repeatable putting stroke for more distance control and accuracy.