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What Is The Gate Drill And How Does It Improve My PuttingOne of the biggest problems golfers suffer from on the greens is an inconsistent impact on the putter face. The knock on effects of mis-hits will see your putts starting on the wrong line, causing you to think you have mis-read the putt, and also your putts dont have the right speed to travel the required distance.

The best way to improve your contact and gradually start to hole more putts is to practise using the gate drill. To practise this drill, you need five balls, two tees and your putter.

  • First you need to find a flat putt on the practice putting green at a distance of around four feet. Place your putter flat on the ground and place the first tee right next to the heel of your putter. Take the second tee and place it one inch away from the toe end of your putter. This will give you around three quarters of an inch of clearance for your putter head.
  • Place your first ball just in front of the gate of tees that you have created. Make sure that your putter is in the same position as it was when you placed the tees. Make your stroke and try to hit the putt without your putter hitting the tees. Hit all five putts in this way. Continue this drill until you hole five putts in a row on two occasions.
  • Place your putter back in between the gate with the heel touching the tee. Move the tee at the toe end half an inch closer to the toe of your putter. This will make the drill more precise due to the fact that you now have a little under half an inch of clearance. Repeat the five putts until you can hole all five without hitting the tees.

Once you have got the hang of the drill, try doing it with your lead hand in your pocket. The better you get at the gate drill, the more putts you will hit out of the centre of your putter face.

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The only way that you will start your putts on the right line is to create a consistent and repeatable pre-shot routine. Only this will get you set up in the same way time and time again to enable you to start your putts on your intended line.

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Reading greens is a difficult art form to learn, and unfortunately there is no drill that can help you to read them. The best way to learn how to read them is for you to pay attention to the green as you approach it from 50-75 yards. That combined with what you see and with what you feel through your feet will help.

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Using the gate drill will not directly help your feel. The skill of feeling the speed of a putt is something you have to learn through controlling the length of your stroke and also the way your trailing hand works.

When you practise this drill with one hand then you will develop a little feel but not a huge amount.