As the 2016 WasteManagement Phoenix Open came to a close last Sunday I wondered if anyone else saw the impressive showcase of golf talent that I saw. Beyond the poise and confidence each final competitor embodied, what stood out most to me was the incredible control in their short game. The initial 18th green we saw Fowler and Matsuyama each impressively sink putts beyond a mere few feet under insurmountable pressure to win or force a tie. The next three playoff holes we saw each again sink extended length putts. On the final playoff hole we saw both miss considerably clutch putts of much shorter distances but ultimately Matsuyama ended victoriously.
Here’s the lesson I want to impart on the golf community – putting distance and control can make or break a round of golf. Neither Fowler nor Matsuyama left one putt short in that playoff. Why? Distance control. If you don’t get it to or passed the hole it’s surely not going to go in.
So now it’s time to work on your own personal putting distance and control skills:
1. Use Kris Moe the Frogger Pro’s simple and effective drill: Place one tee 7 feet away and one tee 30 feet away. Practice hitting balls to one tee at a time. Once you can hit three balls passed the tee and within two feet of the tee move on to the next distance. Go back and forth. You are creating muscle memory.
2. The level drill: As we had done with Kris Moe in tip number 1, start from the hole and in a straight line place one tee at 5 feet, then 7 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, and so on creating a distance ladder so-to-speak. Place a club three feet behind the hole. Start with the first tee and putt to the hole. If your ball goes in or within the three feet distance behind you can move to the next length tee. If your ball falls short or hits the club behind the hole start over from the beginning. This will continue to muscle train and brain train because rarely will you have every putt within the same distance per round. Once you have successfully completed your ladder… start again!
3. Taking it to the fringe: Pick a spot on the green and place a tee and drop a handful of golf balls. Aim towards the fringe and one by one hit each ball trying to get as close to the fringe as possible. The goal here is distance and not going into a hole. Again, repetition is key so continue this drill until each ball is successfully stopping within two inches of the fringe.
4. Focus on practice your perfect pendulum putting stroke. By learning to control your putting stroke you will have a vast improvement on your distance and tempo. What’s a great tool to help you practice? You guessed it! The Frogger Golf Arc Angel!
Ultimately, the key is repetition and building memory muscle. The more you practice the more confident your putting stroke will be. It’s not just raw talent that makes the pro golfers so successful on the green.
Try the above tips and let us know if they work for you!