Putting is one of the simplest ways to practice your game at home, yet so many people neglect it, perhaps thinking that without a beautifully manicured green in your backyard that there’s no way to really hone your stroke in realistic conditions.
However, with a few simple tools, or even nothing at all, you can still work on basic elements of putting, such as distance control or getting the ball rolling on your target line.
The best drills to practice your putting at home require a few simple tools such as a putting mat or meter ruler, or at the very least a carpeted surface. By hitting several balls to the same spot you’ll develop feel for pace control, while rolling balls along a ruler or line of tape will improve your ability to get putts starting on your intended line.
Golf is expensive at the best of times, but a simple putting set up at home can be incredibly cheap to put together, with less than $200 buying you enough gear to stay occupied for hours.
Given that a 3 foot putt is worth the same number of strokes as a 300 yard drive, it may be the best investment you make in order to improve your game.
Keep reading as in this article, I’ll detail the six best putting drills you can practice at home that will improve your performance on the greens.
I’ve also listed some of our other top instructional putting yarns you should check out below:
- Putting Alignment: How To Line Up Putts Better In Golf
- How To Read Greens: 11 Tips For Making More Putts
- 7 Golf Putting Grip Styles: But Which Technique Is Best?
- Plumb Bobbing: Can It Help Your Green Reading And Putting?
We’ve also put together some great buyer’s guides when it comes to putting aids:
- How To Choose The Right Putter For You (Complete Guide)
- 14 Golf Putting Aids To Help Train A Better Stroke In 2022
- 13 Best Indoor Putting Greens In 2022 (Budget And Premium Options)
- Toe Hang vs Face Balanced Putters: Which One Suits Your Stroke?
All you need for this drill is a one yard, metal ruler, laid flat on a hard wood or carpeted surface.
If you can get one with a small hole at one end it will make it super easy to sit your ball on it in preparation for your putt.
The aim of the drill is simple: putt the ball from one end to the other, ensuring that it doesn’t roll off the left or right side of the ruler and makes it all the way to the far end.
It may sound incredibly simple, but being able to make a putt that stays on line for a full yard is going to really improve your ability to get putts started on your target line.
Very often we are able to read a green well and identify a good line, but figure eight motions or glancing strikes with the flat stick send the ball off on an incorrect line, leading to a missed putt.
If you can read a putt and roll it on your desired line, then you’re undoubtedly going to hole them more often.
Drawing a line on your ball with a marking tool can give you an additional visual aid to get everything lined up and ensure the roll of the ball is pure.
Check out the ruler drill in action below:
Repeat Length drill
An absolute piece of cake to perform as all it requires is a spot to aim for on a carpeted surface.
Simply place a book, sturdy mug or even a ball marker on the ground a few feet away from you and hit the same spot again and again.
This repetition will help you hone your swing, identifying how far back and through the putter should go to hit a certain point, something you can then take out onto the course.
Every now and then, change the distance and alter your stroke.
As effective as this may be, a putting mat like this one from PuttOut will make this drill even smoother.
With one foot markings, you can pick a zone and aim to drop half a dozen balls into that segment.
These mats run at about 10 on the stimpmeter too, so provide a pretty accurate set of conditions compared to what you would face out on the course.
Foot By Foot drill
Similar to the repeat length drill, this requires being able to aim at a set of one-foot markings on the ground, using something like ball markers or tees, or a putting mat.
Take a set number of the balls – perhaps one per section – and try and roll one after the other into the next furthest or closest zone each time.
For example, start by making a one-foot putt, stopping in the first segment, then a two footer stopping in the next and so on.
Once again, this will help you generate distance control that can be applied on course.
To really pile on the pressure, make it a challenge, giving yourself a punishment each time you mess up.
If you get 5/5 but miss on the six footer, make yourself do 10 push ups or anything that will apply the heat like you’d feel over a putt to win the hole against a buddy.
Stay On Line drill
Similar to the ruler drill, by drawing a line on the ground or using a putting mat with one built in, try and roll putts from one end of the line to the other.
Once again, this is going to help you get the ball rolling on line and keep it there long enough to hole more putts, just as long as you have read them correctly.
If you draw a line on your ball and set this up pointing straight down the line, a well struck putt will see the line stay upright, rather than begin to scramble.
Master this drill and you know your strike and putting stroke are in a good place regarding being able to send the ball on the path you intended.
Hole To Hole drill
Using a putting matt with different hole markings on it or objects on the ground, practice making putts of different distances and angles.
By staggering objects to aim at around the carpet or aiming at scattered holes printed on a putting mat, you practice going through the process of lining up a putt and getting the pace right at different lengths.
This is a good drill to move onto after a few stay on line, or repeating length drills to make sure your set-up routine is consistent and you can get the pace right for different length putts in succession, just as you would on course.
If your budget allows, something like the PuttOut Mat is perfect as it gives you different length markings to hit to (if you’re looking for an even cheaper option, we’ve provided our top recommendations here).
Pressure Putt drill
While pretty well all of these drills so far haven’t required more than household objects (unless you did want to buy a putting mat, which I would recommend) this final one does need the purchase of the PuttOut Pressure Trainer, a fairly cheap training aid that has been heralded as one of the best on the market.
Essentially, the pressure trainer is designed to replicate a golf hole, providing an aiming point for putts made on your mat or along the carpet at home.
If you hit a putt that would have been ‘holed’, it will return it to you the exact distance that it would have travelled past the hole if you had missed.
If you find that you’re nailing your target line but having balls returned three feet, then it’s a great indication that your pace might be a little too much.
Really want to perfect your stroke? Enable the micro target halfway up the curve and any putt made with the perfect line and pace will stick in the hole, rather than return to sender.
Despite putting being one of the easiest ways any golfer can shave strokes from their game, few people properly practice it, even though it can be done in the comfort of your own home.
With these simple drills, and perhaps a few relatively cheap purchases, you’ll have an at home putting regime that leaves you with absolutely no excuses not to work on that stroke.