by Jason Kwok
The quickest way to drop 2 to 3 strokes per round
I’ve had the pleasure of working with many students who were initially total beginners, and in most cases I have seen most of them improve their handicaps at a much faster than average rate. I am of the opinion that this accelerated rate of improvement is due to the fact that we spend a good proportion of our lesson time on their short game and put ting. I believe that it’s easier to become proficient in putting and short game fundamentals very quickly and that those basics will then make learning a sound, powerful golf swing much easier.
For students who come to me with more golfing experience but are struggling with their game, I can usually identify several easily correctable issues during our course lessons whereby they can improve their score by 3 to 6 shots per round within six months to a year. It’s more than likely that they seldom spent time on short game and putting lessons or practice. In my experience, the best players spend more that 25 percent of their practice time improving those skills.
Here is the putting circle drill that I trust can improve your scores in the shortest time. It’s actually a revised version of a drill that Phil Mickelson has mentioned in his videos. In the left image, I have set up 10 tees and 10 balls, each three feet from the hole. You can start at any ball and work your way around counter-clockwise (if you are right handed) until you putt all 10 balls (right image). Then replace the balls and start again. Do this drill until you have made 20 putts in a row. Phil used to make 100 in a row from three, four and five feet, and restart each circle if he missed a putt. You should be able to finish the drill in a few minutes after some practice, but if you have trouble completing it after 30 minutes or so, perhaps try another day.
This drill will not only improve your three-foot putting, but long putts will be less stressful, as your target is to get a long lag putt in a six-foot circle. These two improvements should definitely drop your score by two to three strokes in short order!