Improving your putting skills is essential to lower your golf scores. Luckily, there are various drills you can incorporate into your practice routine to enhance your putting proficiency. One highly effective drill that can help you overcome putting challenges is the Gate Drill. Let's take a closer look at this drill and how it can benefit your putting game:

  • Setup: To begin the Gate Drill, you'll need two alignment rods or any other straight objects, such as tees, placed on the ground. Position the rods parallel to each other, creating a narrow gate that is slightly wider than the width of your putter head. The gate should be placed a few inches in front of the ball and extend beyond the hole.
  • Alignment and Visualization: Stand behind the ball and visualize a line extending from the ball to the hole. Imagine the ideal path your putt should take to reach the target. This visualization will help you align the putter face and your body correctly.
  • Stroke Practice: With the gate in place and your alignment set, start practicing your stroke. Focus on making a smooth and controlled stroke that keeps the putter face square to the target line throughout the entire motion. The narrow gate will help you refine your stroke and improve your ability to consistently strike the ball in the center of the putter face.
  • Feedback and Adjustments: The gate serves as immediate feedback for your stroke. If you strike the alignment rods or miss the gate, it indicates that your stroke has an error, such as an open or closed face at impact. Analyze the results and make the necessary adjustments to improve your stroke mechanics. Concentrate on achieving a clean strike that sends the ball through the gate consistently.
  • Distance Control: The Gate Drill not only aids in improving your accuracy but also helps with distance control. By focusing on rolling the ball through the gate with different lengths of strokes, you can develop a better sense of feel and control over the speed and distance of your putts.
  • Incremental Challenge: As you become more proficient at rolling putts through the gate consistently, you can increase the difficulty level of the drill. Narrow the gate by bringing the alignment rods closer together, challenging yourself to maintain accuracy in a tighter space. This progressive challenge will sharpen your precision and increase your confidence on the greens.
  • Practice Variations: To make the Gate Drill more comprehensive, you can introduce variations to simulate different putting scenarios. For example, place the gate on an uphill or downhill slope to practice adjusting your stroke and reading the greens effectively. Incorporate breaking putts or different lengths of putts to enhance your adaptability and versatility in various on-course situations.
  • Repetition and Consistency: Like any skill in golf, repetition and consistency are crucial for improvement. Incorporate the Gate Drill regularly into your practice sessions to develop muscle memory, reinforce good habits, and build confidence in your putting stroke. Over time, the drill will help you become more consistent and reliable on the greens.

By incorporating the Gate Drill into your practice routine, you can address common putting issues, such as poor alignment, inconsistent stroke, and lack of accuracy. This drill provides valuable feedback, improves your stroke mechanics, and enhances your distance control. So, the next time you're struggling with your putting, give the Gate Drill a try and watch your confidence and proficiency on the greens improve.

A Great Drill to Help Your Putting Ills
Another Great Drill to Help Your Putting Ills


To help you get back on the right putting track, we want to offer up a helpful drill. Putting drills are a great way to eliminate problems in your stroke, as they allow you to get out and do some actual practice, rather than just reading tips on the internet. It is helpful to read instructional articles like this one, of course, but at some point, you’ve got to get out and work on things for yourself.

If you are willing to invest a bit of practice time into the following drill, we believe you will be happy with the results. Please follow the step-by-step instructions listed below.

  • To get started, you will need to be at your local golf course with access to the practice green. You will also need your putter, and a few golf balls. Pick out a hole somewhere on the green where you can work on your stroke without being bothered by other players. Try to find a relatively flat spot on the green so you can pay attention specifically to your technique without worrying about the slope of the ground.
  • Set the first golf ball down on the green, approximately five feet from the cup. You don’t need to measure the distance, but it should be in the proximity of five feet for this drill to work properly. Since you have (hopefully) found a flat putt, you shouldn’t need to spend any time reading the green before sending the ball on its way.
  • As you take your stance, you are going to set the putter head down immediately behind the ball. In fact, the face of the putter should be resting against the ball at address. Obviously, this is not how you set up for a putt when playing a round of golf. Normally, the putter would be slightly behind the ball, to make sure the putter and the ball aren’t touching. That is not the plan here, however. In order for this drill to work properly, the face of the putter needs to be touching the back of the ball at address.
  • With your stance set, it will be time to send the ball on its way. This is where the drill is going to be dramatically different than a usual putt. Instead of using a backstroke and a forward stroke to hit the putt, you are simply going to move the putter forward immediately from address. That’s right – no backstroke at all. Gradually move the putter forward and allow the ball to roll along the ground while being pushed by the face of the club. Keep the putter moving toward the hole until the ball is ‘released’ and continues on, hopefully into the cup.
  • At first, this is going to be awkward, and you’ll probably struggle to hit your target. If you stick with it, however, you should start to see better and better results as the drill moves along. Pretty soon, you will be able to simply push the ball down your target line over and over again with impressive consistency.
  • Feel free to ‘hit’ as many putts as you would like when using this drill. Before calling it quits for the day on the practice green, go back to your normal stroke and hit a few traditional putts.

There are a couple of things which can be learned from this drill. First, you should feel the importance of accelerating the putter toward the hole. You obviously can’t decelerate through impact when using this drill, because you are starting from a static position. It’s impossible to decelerate when the putter isn’t moving in the first place. The only choice is to accelerate down the line, so that’s exactly what you’ll need to do.

The other lesson to be learned here is the importance of keeping the putter face pointing at the hole throughout the putt. If you let the face of the putter drift off in either direction, the ball is going to be pushed off line and you’ll wind up with a miss. Keep the back of your left hand moving down the line toward the target, and the putter face should follow along nicely.

You might be surprised to find how effective this drill can be in terms of fixing your deceleration pattern. Even after just a few repetitions with this drill, you should start to feel more confident in your ability to accelerate through the ball and down the line toward the hole. Make this drill a regular part of your practice routine and better results should be just around the corner.