Putting Lesson #1
Posted on May 7th, 2018 by Herb Rubenstein
At the Wells Fargo on 18, did you see those two great putts Jason Day and Aaron Wise made on 18? Watch them putt and you will learn something.
And, YES, you can learn how to putt in a golf simulator. You might say, “the putts are all straight and just too easy,” and that was true until you tried my new putting drill.
Set a hole or “goal” (could be a coffee cup, coaster, or anything about 4 inches in diameter and round in your golf simulator or your home carpet. Set up for a four foot putt. BUT, put another ball directly in line with the hole about 8 inches in front of the ball you will putt. NOW, try to make the forward ball go in the cup or hit the coffee cup or go over the coaster. This is called the Rubenstein Putting Drill
PRETTY DAMN HARD. I estimate it is 15 – 20 times harder than making a simple straight four foot putt. The question is “What can you learn from this drill?” Here are 9 things you can learn from this drill.
Improving the way you line up putts: You should line up the ball you want to go into the hole (front ball) exactly in line with the hole if it is a straight putt. To do this you must walk behind the “cue” ball (just the way you should line up a putt) to make sure you have the two balls lined up exactly at the hole. This will help you improve your ability to line up your putts on the course. Also, if it looks perfectly lined up when you are behind the ball, but does not look lined up correctly when you stand over this putt, this might identify a bias in your eyesight to one side of the other caused by having a dominant eye or having one eye see much better than the other (as in my case, when the ball looks lined up perfectly from behind, when I stand over it, it looks like it is lined up to the left of the hole since I only see out of my left eye. Thus, knowing this “bias” in my alignment, suggests I need to make an adjustment in my lining up my putts and be willing to aim a little “left” of where I normall aim.
- Your touch will be improved because you only want to hit the “cue ball” hard enough so that it this the “forward” ball just hard enough to get to the hole.
- You will want to learn how to keep your follow through short on your putts, which is a good thing, because if you don’t and the “forward ball” is only six inches or less in front of the “cue ball” you will “double hit” the cue ball and that is always a bad feeling in golf.
- You will have to hit the cue ball not only on a perfect line to hole out the “forward ball,” you will also have to hit the cue ball with little or no sidespin because that will send the forward ball off to the side just as hitting the forward ball to one side or the other.
- The margin of error is so small that you must hit the “cue ball” almost with a perfect putter stroke to make the forward ball.
- This drill helps you focus on the intermediate, close range target rather than the hole and this should improve your ability to hit putts on the line you want.
- This drill takes all of the pressure off making the putt, because it happens so rarely that you feel no pressure and your entire focus is on hitting exactly the middle of the back of the forward ball with little or no attention on the hole.
- This drill can be made harder by tackling a breaking putt, a severe uphill or downhill putt, or intentionally putting the forward ball a little to one side of the perfect line to your target (the hole if it is a straight putt and to one side of the hole or other if the forward ball will break after it is struck) and hitting the forward ball with the cue ball a little off center to deflect at an angle into the hole. This is the essence or pool where one rarely has two balls lined up perfectly to the “pocket.”
- This drill is not only fun, it is a great way to play for nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars (or just bragging rights) in a competitive format.
- You can also learn how to teach it to your friends and win some money while doing it.