The No-Look Long Putts Drill

    You can learn just about everything you need to know about this last drill just from the title. To make sure you are doing a great job of keeping your head still while you hit your long putts – which is one of the biggest keys to success – this drill is going to demand that you keep your head down until the ball has stopped rolling. It might seem a bit extreme, but this is a great way to reinforce the importance of discipline during your stroke.

    As was the case for the previous two drills, you can follow the directions below to give this drill a try for yourself.

  • You’ll again need your putter, a golf ball or two, and a practice putting green. As we mentioned in the instructions for the ladder drill, it would be helpful if you could head to the course during a non-peak time in order to have more of the practice green to yourself. Once at the green and ready to practice, set your golf ball down and pick out a target on the other side of the putting surface. Ideally, this will be a relatively flat put without too much slope in any direction. By finding the easiest-possible long putt, you can focus on executing your technique without giving much thought to the read.
  • Everything leading up to the moment of impact in these putts is going to be exactly the same as it would be for any other putt. You are going to get yourself aligned properly with the target, take your stance, and take one last look up at the hole before making the stroke. The only thing you are going to do differently will take place after you have sent the ball on its way. Rather than looking up to see where the ball is going, you are going to keep your head down, staring at the spot on the turf where the ball had previously been resting. You are not going to look up until you are sure that the ball has finally come to rest. Only then will you take a look down toward the target to see how you have done.
  • Feel free to repeat this drill as many times as you would like, hitting long putts back and forth across the green without watching them roll. Even though you aren’t watching the ball roll toward the target, you should have no trouble assessing your performance based on the final location of the ball when it stops rolling.
  • You should notice that keeping your head down for this exaggerated amount of time will stabilize your stroke, allowing you to swing the putter through cleanly while hitting the sweet spot more often. No one strikes the ball perfectly each time in this game, but your performance should improve nicely as you accumulate more and more practice with this drill.

    Do you need to keep your head down like this on the course? No – of course not. When you are actually playing a round of golf, you can feel free to watch the ball roll, but only after you have finished your stroke. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your head down and still until the putter has stopped moving. That way, you will be sure that there was no premature movement in your head or neck area that could negatively impact the quality of your putt.

    This is a great drill to add to your regular practice routine. Consider hitting a few long putts without looking up during each of your putting practice sessions. Adding this to your practice habit will remind you of the importance of keeping your head down and still while playing long putts. Even if this drill only saves you one stroke per round, it will have done its job nicely.