The gate putting drill is a terrific drill to get you putting better and reducing the number of putts that you take out on the golf course.
The gate putting drill simply consists of your creating a “gate” or an area to putt the ball through, with tee pegs. Place a golf ball on the green, or on the carpet at home. Place your putter head next to the ball and then place a tee peg at either end of the putter head, so one next to the toe and one next to the heel. If you are practising on the carpet at home, simply turn your tee pegs upside down to do this.
Position the tee pegs close to the putter head but allow the putter to be able to swing through them. The less room there is to swing the putter head through the tee pegs, the more accurate your putter head will move. Now work on swinging the putter head and striking a golf ball from the middle of the gate. Your goal is to hit the ball without hitting either of the tee pegs. Doing this will ensure that you are striking the golf ball from the centre of the putter face, or the sweet spot, rather than striking it off-centre. If you strike the ball from the toe of the putter, you will hit the nearest tee peg to you as evidence of the mis-strike and if you strike the ball from towards the heel, you will hit the far tee peg of the gate. Hitting from off-centre causes the putter face to twist as it strikes the ball and makes it very difficult to hit the ball along the line you want it to travel along. Therefore, accuracy with your putts becomes very difficult to achieve. Working on this drill will improve your accuracy and improve the number of putts that you hole.
If you now create three gates in a row along the target line, rather than just one, this will also help you swing the putter on a straighter line towards the target, again improving your accuracy. Set one gate up as described before and then set a similar gate up three inches to the right of this and one three inches to the left. Work on swinging the putter head directly behind all three gates, without hitting any of the tees. This will encourage you to swing the putter head straight back along the target line and straight through along the target line and with the putter face aiming along the target line, you will now be hitting straight putts from the putter.
Once you are swinging the putter head between the set of three tee peg gates, you could then also try setting a tee peg gate up between the ball and the hole. On a straight putt of six feet, place a tee peg gate half way between the ball and the hole at three feet. Place the tee pegs so that one is either side of the target line, so that you have to putt the ball through the tee peg gate. This will really help you focus on the target line and the direction that you need to strike the ball in to get the ball into the hole, again improving your accuracy.
Work on all of these drills and you will hit your putts much more accurately, resulting in more holed putts and a much lower score.