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Ballantrae at Birmingham Instructional Tips

February Golf Tip of the Month

From PGA Golf Professional Jerry Applegate

This month we will talk about a great putting practice drill. From time to time I will get on the website: golfwrx.com. It has articles on equipment and instruction and also posts pictures of the day from the Tour Events. I was looking at the pictures on the practice putting green from Torrey Pines and there were many, many players using mirrors and putting guides.

Years ago, I started using a metal yardstick as an alignment aid. You can buy them from a fabric store (or maybe even Walmart) for $5 or so. There is a hole in the end of the yardstick for it to hang on a hook to sell. For golf, you can put your ball in that hole and use it as a putting aid. I have seen similar putting aids selling for $30-$40-$50. Don’t buy one of those, just get a metal yardstick.

Find a flat putt on the practice green (about a 5 or 6 footer) and lay the yardstick down aimed at the hole. Put the ball in the hole in the yardstick and stroke the putt trying to keep the ball on the yardstick for the full 36 inch length. By keeping the ball on the yardstick, it promotes a square putter face at impact (the most important variable in putting, by the way). It also promotes a long, smooth, flowing stroke that creates solid impact (another very important variable). You can also perform this drill on carpet or a hard floor at home. Again, the goal is to keep the ball on the yardstick for the entire 36 inch length.

Practice this drill on our practice greens (or on the floor at home!) and in no time you will see your putting improve. It will help by squaring up the putter face at impact, promoting more solid contact and by tightening up your focus (you won’t be worrying about the variables of the stroke or the many results that could occur). It is amazing how much better you putt (or swing!) when your mind is uncluttered and tightly focused.

Thanks and good putting!


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