Monday, February 27, 2012


Force yourself to hit quality lag putts, and make pressure-packed knee-knockers

What to do:
This game is a classic.  Wonderful for honing in your speed, the concept is very simple... make the putt or suffer a consequence.  The consequence is an additional club-length of distance added to your next putt.  All you need for this drill is one ball, your putter and a practice green with some room to hit longer putts.  On the green, pick a putt outside 30 feet and, going through your full routine first, try to make (or leave as close as possible to the hole) your putt.  If you do make the putt, congratulations, the next hole awaits.  However if you miss, draw the ball away from the hole 1 club length and putt from its new position.  Play 9 holes on the practice green in this fashion and see how low you can shoot.  Consider every hole a par-2.  Each hole should be slightly different from the last.

How I did:
+1 last go around... not bad, but can be bettered.

Beginner- Only draw back putts that come to rest short of the hole.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

U.S. Professional Hickory Championship/Chipping Line

Sorry for the delay in posting… I was away from my computer all day yesterday competing in the United States Professional HICKORY Golf Championship.  Yes, that’s right, hickory!  It was an incredible experience, meshing the finesse and feel of the modern game with its historical roots.  Stepping onto the practice green dressed in a long sleeve button-down, tie, sweater and slacks, and then proceeding to play an untouched, early-century golf course (Temple Terrace) felt like being in a time warp.  I picked out my own set of original hickory irons and woods that morning and used a replica mesh pattern golf ball played pre-1930 to shoot 76 (+3).   I was pleased with my ability to figure the clubs out as the round progressed.  They force you to stay smooth and languid or else the massive torque of the hickory shaft takes over and you’re not sure if you’ll even make contact.  Interestingly, I found the most challenging adjustment to be on simple chips around the green… I could feel the play in the shaft, and the sharp leading edge of the niblick made crisp contact very difficult.   

Great experience, wonderful event, definitely want to try it again…  Many thanks to Mike Stevens of the Hickory Golf Association and Temple Terrace Golf Club.  If you want to read more about yesterday's event check out today’s NY Times article -->

On to this week’s drill…

Chipping line
Enhances your feel for chipping at different distances

What to do:
You’ll need your wedges and at least 10 balls.  Go to the chipping green and pick a shot that is fairly straightforward, where the pin is about 5 paces from the collar.  Drop a ball just off the green onto the fringe, then drop another 2 feet behind it.  Keep doing this until you’ve made a line with all of your golf balls stretching back away from the hole.  Each ball should be spaced about 2-feet from the previous.  Once you have this you’re ready to begin.  Return to the first ball and execute the shot.  Simply step back and hit your next shot in the line.  Continue doing this until you’ve hit all of your shots.  Your only goal for this drill is to hit each shot as close as possible.

How I did:
This is obviously more of a drill or style of practice than an actual game, however I feel it is beneficial enough to include in this blog.  Try to hole out as many as possibly in your line of 10, and track that.  Do this drill a couple of times during one practice session and you’ll definitely be able to feel a difference in your touch around the greens.

No Scaling.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Speed Ladder

Hone in your speed on the greens from medium to long distances

What to do:
You’ll need your putter, a few golf balls and a handful of tees.  Pick a flat, 15-foot putt and place a tee down to mark where you’ll hit the putt from.  Take another tee and put it 2 feet behind the hole, marking the acceptable, tap-in distance in the event you miss the putt.  Move back to your “tee marker’ from 15 feet and hit a putt, attempting to make the putt, or if you miss to leave yourself in between the hole and the tee you put down behind it.  This will train you to hit your putts with proper speed getting the ball to the hole but not running it by too far.  If you make or miss the putt within the tee then move one club length back (roughly 3 feet) and hit another putt with the same objective.  If you miss short of the hole or behind the tee, start over at your original tee (15 feet).  See how many putts you can hit with perfect speed, moving back 1 club length with each successful putt. 

How I did:
After 3 attempts at this drill my best result was 7 putts before I missed short of the hole.  Great drill… one that I need to do quite often.

Beginner-  Move the tee 3 feet behind the hole, giving yourself more room to miss past the hole.

Monday, February 6, 2012

First to 7 Chipping Contest

2 or more player chipping game 

What to do:
This is a 2-player game so find at least one other person to compete with.  Each player should have 2 balls and a wedge.  The process for this game is simple: In a 2-person game, after deciding which hole to chip to, each player hits 2 chips, attempting to hit each as close as possible.  After both players have hit both of their chips, they compare each-others worst shot, seeing which is closest to the hole.  The player whose worst shot is closer than the other player's worst gets a point for that hole.  (There is one exception... if a player holes-out, making a chip than that shot counts no matter where his/her other chip ends up).  A new hole is then selected and the process is repeated, both players hitting both chips, comparing each-others respective worst shots.  The first person to score 7 points wins.

This drill can also be modified if 2 players of different skill levels wish to play eachother.  All you do is compare the better player's worst shot to the less-skilled player's best.  This forces the better player to hit 2 quality shots while giving the higher-handicapped player an opportunity to score some points.   

This game works great for more than 2 players as well.  The process remains the same... the person with the closest "worst shot" gets the point.  The only difference is it may take a little while longer for someone to score 7 points  because there is more competition for the points. 

How I did:
My results vary depending on who I play :)

As stated above, a low-handicapped player may wish to play a high-handicapper, and in this case the worse player compares the best of his 2 shots to the greater skilled competitor's worst.