There is a big difference between practice putting and pressure putting. So, away from the course, I like to create pressure and a feeling of ‘must make’ with what I call my ‘ladder’ drill.
As you can see here, I use 12 balls: three each at 12 o’clock, at three o’clock, at six o’clock and at nine o’clock.
At each point, one ball is three feet from the cup, the next is six feet away and the third is nine feet out. If you can, find a hole cut on a slight slope so that you will be faced with both right-to-left and left-to-right putts during the drill.
The idea is simple. Starting at 12 o’clock, attempt to hole from three feet, then six, then nine. If you are successful with all three, move onto three o’clock, then six, and so on.
However, if you miss, you have to start again from the beginning. There is pressure on every putt, of course, but it grows and grows, especially when you get to the tenth, 11th and last ball, all of which creates as closely as possible the feeling of being out on the course rather than on the practice green.
Give it a shot and see how you get on!
Practice like Paul Lawrie
Paul Lawrie is attached to The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, where he practises and plays. He also owns two top practice facilities – Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Aberdeen (01224 865750) & Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo (01330 827080) – in the north-east of Scotland.