The YouTube channel “Scratch Golf” has a video on practicing golf and tracking your weekly progress using a plan utilized by college golf programs in the US. Who knows if any colleges actually use this plan, now or ever, but it’s been pretty rewarding enough for me, regardless of its origins. Having completed the initial drill, “3-Foot Putts”, I moved on to the “20 Foot Putt Drill”. From the previous drill, I had 6 tees in a circle around hole, each 3 feet from the hole. I removed one of the tees, paced off 20 feet, and put that tee back in the ground. I now had a setup for putting 20-foot putts into a 3-foot radius around the hole.
The routine went like this:
* Take 3 golf balls, and try putting as many as you can into the 3-foot radius circle around the hole.
* Don’t use more than 3 to 5 balls, because it can get crowded within the circle
* If any single putt doesn’t end up within the circle, start all over again.
* Keep trying until you get 20 in a row
Record your results on a spreadsheet. I tried for nearly an hour and only managed to get 8. I marked an 8 besides this drill on my spreadsheet, and colored it orange. If I had gotten all 20, I would have marked it green. The beauty of having to start over is that each putt has an increasing sense of urgency the closer you get to 20. Eight is a pretty mediocre number, but I now have a baseline number to start improving upon as I practice this drill each week.
I am really loving having some structure to my practice using this plan, and recording the results will show me where I’m improving from week to week. I’m also spending more time on my putting because I want to hit those numbers and mark my spreadsheet green. If I were just casually putting around, I would have practiced far less.