Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Duffers’ Anthology of Putting:
How to Putt Well and Make Your Friends Cry
Part II


After further research into my annals of Golf resources. I have found a few more games and drills to use on your local practice greens or even in your own backyard if you are so lucky. Periodically, I will hope to add to this collection as I see fit.

Short, Long, In (GOLF MAGAZINE, Nov. 2005 p.146)

The Basics: Their are 3 “rounds”. You and an opponent putt one ball per round.. The object is to have your first ball stop just short of the cup, the second is to finish just long and have the third one drop into the cup.

The SHORT round: Standing 30 feet from the hole, you and an opponent putt your first ball. The object is to get the ball closest to the cup without it falling. Shortest and closest to the hole gets one point.

The LONG round: Still thirty feet away, aim towards a different target on the practice green. The goal is to have your ball end up just long of the hole. The person whose ball is just beyond the hole and still closest to the cup wins one point.

The IN round: From the same distance, putt towards a different target again. Now sink your putt. If you do, that’s a point. If you both miss, that one point carries over to the next time you reach the IN round. Continue this drill until one of you reach 21.

Quarters (GOLF MAGAZINE, Nov. 2005 p.147)

On the practice green with an opponent, drop one quarter on the ground. From 5 feet away, you and your opponent have 10 balls. Each time you hit the quarter with a putt, add 25 cents to your total. After each of you finish putting all ten balls, total up each of your winnings. Whoever has the most change, wins. Whoever wins, gets ALL the change.

*Note: By putting to a quarter in practice, the hole will look bigger when the real money is on the line.

**Note: I hope you know that you can play this game for more than a quarter.

Going On A Bender (GOLF MAGAZINE, September 2005 p.76)

Goal: Putting to a target other than the hole.

“Increase your putting confidence by placing a tee on the edge of the hole at 5 o’clock for right-to-left breakers and at 7 o’clock for left-to-right breakers. Try to putt around the tee so the break feeds the ball to the hole.” This drill will force you to look at targets other than the hole, which is necessary when you have a nasty looking undulating green.

Keeping Yourself Soothed (Golf Digest, June 2005 p.323)

My buddy, The Toking Bandit, has been trying something new this past year on the course. He has been listening to his ipod while playing his rounds. He has improved in my opinion, but he tends to disagree. But you don’t have to take my word for it though. Jim Gregory, a Golf Digest Schools instructor will tell you the same thing.

“I like practice putting with music playing in my headphones. It clears my mind, improves my sense of tempo and filters out other distractions around the practice green.”

The Gimme
By: Martin Levac Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Setup:

On the practice green. Place one tee 5 steps from the hole for the tee off line. Place another tee 1 step past the hole for the OB line. Area from hole to OB is the Gimme area. The Gimme area can be defined as a half circle around the hole with additional tees on each side of the hole, everything outside this area is OB. Any distance can be used as long as a 5-to-1 ratio is kept.

Rules:

Each player plays an equal number of balls off the tee line (1, 2 or 3 or whatever). Once a player has played his balls, he counts his points and picks up his balls. A round ends when each player has played all his balls. A new round starts with the previous round's highest scoring player and so forth. Play as many rounds as required for a game to be won.

A game is won when, after all players played the last round, a player has scored the most points with a set number of balls (10 balls a game, for example) or when a player reaches a set number of points (21 points a game, for example). Tied game playoff is played with rounds of a single ball each tied player until a winner is determined. Any ball that doesn't reach the hole is out and cannot be second-putted, it can also be removed so it doesn't interfere with other balls yet to be played as well as balls still in play.

Any ball OB is out and cannot be second-putted, it can also be removed so it doesn't interfere with other balls yet to be played as well as balls still in play. Any ball in Gimme area is in play and can be second-putted, it can be marked so it doesn't interfere with other balls yet to be played as well as balls still in play. Any ball that doesn't drop on second putt is out, it can be removed blah blah. A ball reaches the hole when it completely reaches the hole. A ball is OB when it is completely OB.

No mulligan>See scoring on putts that don't reach the hole.
Second putt allowed only on Gimme.
First putt lip out counts as Gimme no matter where it ends up.
No third putt allowed. Ever.

Scoring:
+2 pts First putt hole out.
+1 pt Second putt hole out.
-1 pt First putt doesn't reach hole>No second putt allowed.
0 pt any other putt.

For example. In one 3-ball round, a player can score a maximum of 6 points with three first-putts that hole out or a minimum of -3 points with three first-putts that don't reach the hole.

Scoring logic:

First putt hole out is best>To par: Birdie.
Gimme putt hole out is second best>To par: Par.
First putt OB had a chance to hole out but didn't stay within gimme distance>No point>No second putt allowed.
First putt short>It's been said that 100% of putts that end up short have 0% chance to drop. As a result, they do not deserve to be conceded. No second putt allowed. You lose 1 point. Wuss!

The general idea of this putting drill is to reward distance control and accuracy while having fun. It's also a good way to practice making par or better on a GIR. You can play by yourself, it's good practice anyway.

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