how to make golf practice fun on the green 1

We’ve all imagined putting with the Masters or Open Championship on the line. It’s fun, yet nerve-wracking at the same time – which makes this mental exercise a perfect practice drill.

Just like smashing balls mindlessly on the driving range, practicing your putting can get pretty monotonous. But it’s hard to improve or stay sharp between rounds without practicing, so it’s a good idea to inject some fun into these sessions.

Include the following elements to make your practice-green workouts more enjoyable – and productive.

  • Play H-O-R-S-E with a partner: If you practice with a friend, challenge him to the classic game of H-O-R-S-E. The rules are the same as the basketball version: Flip a coin to determine who goes first. Golfer #1 then chooses a spot and putts to a hole location.
  • If Golfer #1 sinks it: Golfer #2 must make the same putt; if golfer #2 misses, he gets an “H”; if golfer #2 makes it, golfer #1 chooses another spot and repeats the process.
  • If Golfer #1 misses the first putt: Golfer #2 chooses a spot and putts to start the process over.

The first golfer to spell H-O-R-S-E loses the game.

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  • Make eight straight: Grab eight balls and find a simple, straight-in putt of about three feet. Putt every ball from the same spot, starting over if you miss before sinking all eight. Once you’ve made eight in a row, move farther away and repeat. Mix in a variety of lengths and slopes. Once you’ve made four or five in succession, you’ll begin to feel pressure mounting. That makes this a great drill when you’re preparing for competition.
  • Putt from the wildest spots on the green: Many practice greens feature extra-large slopes, often more extreme than what you’ll encounter on the course. Putting up, down and across these wild undulations may seem like a waste of time, but it will actually help you develop feel, touch and a sense for big breakers. Stroke putts randomly from difficult places, hitting just one ball from each spot. By limiting yourself to one try, you’ll have to judge each putt without the benefit of a read from a previous attempt.
  • Visions of grandeur: Nothing could be more thrilling or frightening than standing over a putt to take home the green jacket, the Claret Jug, the U.S. Open trophy or the Ryder Cup. End each practice session with a putt of decent length – beyond a tap-in, at least – and imagine yourself needing to make it for all the marbles. Go all out with your visualization to create a sense of pressure. Picture the crowd, the caddies, and all those eyeballs glued to TV sets around the world. Then try to block out the distractions and knock in the putt.

Making golf practice on the green fun is crucial for sharpening your putting skills and staying motivated to improve. Here are some tips on how to make putting practice enjoyable, along with common Q&A:

Making Putting Practice Fun:

  1. Putting Games: Create putting games to challenge yourself or practice with friends. For example, you can play “HORSE” or “Around the World,” where you putt from different spots around the green.
  2. Putting Contests: Organize friendly putting contests with fellow golfers at your club or practice facility. Set up a series of putting challenges and keep score to make it competitive.
  3. Putt for Points: Assign different point values to putts based on distance and difficulty. Try to accumulate as many points as possible during your putting session.
  4. Use Training Aids: Incorporate putting training aids like alignment sticks, putting mirrors, or training mats to add variety to your practice routine.
  5. Visualize Putts: Before each putt, visualize the ball rolling into the hole. Positive visualization can help build confidence and improve focus.
  6. Putt with a Purpose: Set specific goals for your putting practice. Work on different aspects, such as distance control, aiming, or reading greens.
  7. Time Your Practice: Challenge yourself to complete a certain number of putts within a time limit. This adds an element of urgency and fun to your practice.

Putting Practice Q&A:

Q: How can I improve my putting accuracy? A: Focus on a consistent setup and alignment. Keep your eyes directly over the ball, and maintain a steady stroke. Practice distance control to improve overall accuracy.

Q: What's the best way to practice reading greens? A: Spend time observing how putts break on different parts of the green. Use visual cues like the grain and slope to make more accurate reads.

Q: How do I improve my short putts? A: Work on developing a repeatable stroke for short putts. Keep the putter face square through impact and focus on accelerating through the ball.

Q: What's the most important aspect of putting practice? A: Distance control is crucial in putting. Work on developing a consistent feel for the length of your putts to leave yourself shorter, more manageable second putts.

Q: How do I handle pressure putts during practice? A: Create pressure situations during your putting practice by setting specific goals or putting contests. Practice staying calm and focused under pressure.

Q: How can I make my putting practice more game-like? A: Simulate on-course scenarios during putting practice. For example, practice lag putting to leave yourself tap-ins or practice putts from various angles and distances.

Q: Should I practice putting with different grips? A: Experiment with different putting grips to find what feels most comfortable and effective for you. Practice with the grip that gives you the most confidence.

Remember, putting is a crucial aspect of the game, and consistent practice can lead to significant improvements. By making your putting practice enjoyable and purposeful, you'll develop the skills needed to become a more confident and accomplished putter on the course. Keep practicing, stay patient, and watch your putting prowess grow.

One more tip: Always, always end your practice sessions with a made putt. Even if it’s just a tap-in.