Lower Scores Start On The Practice Green

‘Feel’ is one of the toughest things in golf to develop and maintain. It’s relatively easy to get your full swing back to what it was when you put the clubs away at the end of the previous season. A bucket or two of range balls and a trip or two around the course, and you start to get your timing back and can make some consistent contact with the ball. But finding your feel and touch can be more of a challenge.

The shots most affected by feel and touch are your putts, chips and pitches, so your best place to start is on the practice putting green. Use five golf balls and start with two foot putts. Once you can make five two-footers in a row, then move back to four feet. From four feet you have to make four out of five. Then go back to six feet (make 3/5), then eight feet (make 2/5), and 10 feet (make 1/5). If at any point in this drill you don’t make the minimum amount of putts, start over from two feet and work your way back.

When you are able to work through this drill, then move back to 15 feet from the hole, make a circle of tees with a six-foot diameter around the hole, and still using five golf balls, get to where you can keep all five putts to stay within that circle around the hole. Then move back to 20 feet, 25 feet, etc.

Continuing along these lines, drop five golf balls just off the green, again starting at 15 feet from the hole, and hit some chip shots with a 7-iron. Then work back further from the hole, increasing the loft of the club you are chipping with every five feet.

It will take you 30-40 minutes to complete this session on and around the putting green. It is time well spent. If you do this even twice a week, you will quickly improve your feel and touch. Your pitch and chip shots will get consistently closer to the hole, you will make more putts, and you will see a significant improvement in your scores.