I hated putting practice. No, that’s not right, I despised and loathed putting practice. The basket in my garage was more storage container than practice implement (it helps that I live 5 minutes from a course and a park that is perfectly set up for dg practice). Standing there banging in a stack of putters over and over is up there with taking NyQuil and Benedryl while reading a calculus textbook and eating turkey. If I was ever to fall asleep standing up, it would have been during putting practice. But I’ve learned to really enjoy it and I think you can too.
Putting the disc in the basket a couple hundred times a day is one of the best things we can do to improve our confidence and our scores. If we want to compete at any level, putting is our #1 priority. I’m 43. I’ve given up on out throwing the younger guys. I have not given up on beating them, though. There’s a few key things in doing this, but putting is #1 with a bullet. A close #2 is your approach from 200 feet and in.
No matter how important putting practice is, though, I just won’t do it if it bores me. It’s a lot like eating my vegetables. I know I need to do it, but sometimes you need to cover them in cheese. So, how do we make it fun? There’s a lot of ways, but here’s one that worked for me.
The following drill can be done alone (I often do), but it’s more fun with a friend or two. This is the only way I’ve been able to consistently practice putting over a long period.
- Grab 5 approach discs and 5 putters. For me, these are the same disc, so I use a stack of 10. If different discs, grab 5 of each.
- Mark out some set distances from the basket. I use 50-225 feet in 25 ft. increments.
- Go to the first spot and throw 5 hyzer approaches.
- Go to each disc and putt out 2 times. If a disc is outside the circle, bring it in to the edge. The circle and in is where we want to be deadly. No use practicing longer putts in this exercise.
- Take each putt as you would in a tournament. Don’t just stand there and bang down 2 in a row. You want to develop the same routine you would use in competition.
- Go back to the same tee spot and repeat, but with anhyzer approaches.
- Repeat again, but throwing straight lines.
- Move back one spot.
- Each spot gets you 15 practice approaches and 30 putts.
- I use 8 spots, so that’s 120 approaches on different lines and 240 putts.
- If playing with a friend make up a scoring system.
This doesn’t take all that long. It really works well for me because I can mix putting (which i don’t love….yet) with throwing discs (which I love). It’s also nice because it’s a more real world practice. We don’t throw putt after putt after putt in a tournament, why would we do that in practice?
Imagine knowing that 95% of the time you are up and down from 225 and in. What would that do for your scores?
I do this drill twice a week. There’s other stuff on other days, just to keep things interesting and I’ll share those in future posts.
What do you do to make putting practice fun? Do you practice putting? Why or why not? I’d love to hear from everyone.