7 Golf Putting Drills for Beginners

As a new golfer, you’ll find it hard to shoot scores you’re happy with, especially if your putting isn’t up to par. 

Putting is nearly half the game. Around 43% of the strokes you’ll take during a round will be with your putter with 50% of the final score being from putting. It’s really straightforward, roll the ball into the cup with as few strokes as possible. 

I know it sounds simple, but it can be deceptively hard. If you’re the 3 putt king you’ll find it nearly impossible to shoot low scores. As such, you should practice putting as much as you can regardless of how long you’ve been playing. 

Putting is an important skill that every beginner should master to start off on the right track and quickly achieve lower scorecards. Here are some putting basics to remember and 7 of the best golf putting drills for beginners to give you confidence and improvement with your putter.

Putting Basics

Stance – Your stance should be roughly hip wide, with feet pointing forward. The ball should be slightly ahead of the center of your stance. As you grip the putter at address, your hands should have a slight forward press, something many new golfers miss.

Posture – You need to position your eyes directly over the ball to correctly see the line of the putt. You can quickly test this by setting up to putt as normal, holding another ball in your left eye socket, and letting it drop. It should hit the ball on the ground.

Grip – You need to have a standard putting grip which is different from a full swing golf grip. The latter promotes and allows a lot of wrist hinges while in putting you should avoid wrist hinges and keep your wrists as solid as possible.  

Stroke – A good putting stroke is based on a single cadence or rhythm with few moving parts regardless of the putt length. As such, you can simply make shorter or longer strokes to vary length with consistency and accuracy. 

The Best Golf Putting Drills for Beginners

1. The Gate Drill

The gate drill is excellent for beginners as it helps you develop your putting stroke swing path. It will help you learn to consistently return the putter to the same position from address to impact. This is key in making successful short putts.

  • Place two tees a bit wider than the head of your putter 3 to 4 feet away from the hole. This should create a ‘gate’ for your putter to swing through.
  • It should be a snug fit but you can give yourself some room as a beginner. Your aim should be to pass the ball and the putter through the gates without touching the tees. 
  • The putter head should go straight back and straight through. The drill helps you keep your putter’s head square at impact. 
  • For extra feedback, you can create an extra set of gates a putter length from the first. You’ll have to maintain a square face at impact for the ball to pass through the middle of the gates. 

2. Clock Putting Drill

The clock drill helps you practice putting from three key distances. It also trains you to consistently hit putts from all sorts of breaks while also building up your endurance and confidence. 

  • Arrange four golf balls around the hole at a distance of one putter length in positions similar to the 3, 6, 9, and 12 positions on a clock.
  • Putt from each position as you move clockwise until all four are hit. Every time you miss you have to restart the drill.
  • In the same alignment, add two additional ball rows further by 3 feet or two putter lengths and 3 putter lengths. You should have a total of 12 balls.
  • The goal is to sink all balls consecutively starting at the closest one and moving outward at different distances. 
  • It will help with your confidence and rhythm while enabling you to practice putting in different pressure situations.  

3. The Putter Path Drill

This drill helps you develop a straighter putting stroke. As you start putting, you’ll notice the putter’s clubhead doesn’t always move in a straight line back and through the ball. This drill helps learn how to maintain a straight line as you take your putter back and through to the target.

  • Place two golf clubs side by side and parallel to each other so they create a ‘path’ or ‘channel’ to the hole. They should be apart by a distance slightly bigger than your putter’s head.
  • Position your ball in the middle of the path and practice putting in the target line without touching either club with your putter head. 
  • If the putter head hits the clubs or is not straight with the target line on your backstroke or follow-through after impact, you’ll be able to see it thanks to the clubs.
  • Practice this drill to eliminate pushed or pulled putts and increase your consistency in a straight back and through putting stroke. 

4. The Rubber Band Drill

Just like the other clubs in your bag, the putter has a sweet spot right at the middle of the putter’s head. The drill helps you practice striking the ball with the sweet spot for the best results.

  • Place rubber bands around your putter head around a ball width apart. They should be placed wide enough to allow contact with the ball at the center of the putter’s head.
  • The rubber bands need to be wrapped just beyond the sweet spot to act as guard rails. Once tied, try to strike successful putts about two putter lengths from the hole.
  • You should feel an impact on the rubber when you don’t strike the ball with the center sweet spot. The ball will also go off from your target line. 
  • This drill helps you practice make straight putting strikes and bringing the putter face back square at impact.

5.  The Yardstick or Meter Stick Drill

This is a great drill to practice rolling the ball straight the entire length to the hole. It teaches you how to accurately read your putting line every time and get the putter face square at impact.

  • Get a straight edge meter stick or yardstick and place it a putter length or two away from the hole. You can also place it in any flat area on the green. 
  • Place the ball on one end and hit your putt. Your goal should be getting the ball to the end of the stick without breaking.
  • Try the drill at different speeds to determine how you fare. If you strike the ball with your putter face square at impact, the ball will have a good roll and stay straight in the stick the whole way.
  • It’s a great drill to practice bringing the putter face square before rounds or even at home on a level surface.

6. The Chopstick Putting Drill

The chopstick drill is an excellent way to practice distance and speed control by helping you achieve a more constant strike radius. It does this by helping synchronize your torso and arm motion during putting.

  • Take two alignment sticks and bind the lower ends together with a rubber band. Place the sticks under your armpits and bend forward into your putting posture. 
  • Place your hands in the middle, with the sticks running on the back of your hands and between the fore and middle fingers. Ensure your elbow bend and posture is consistent with your standard putting setup. 
  • Start a backstroke putting motion by rotating your torso clockwise and letting your upper body bend to the left slightly. Then swing your arms forward by rotating your torso counterclockwise and letting your upper body tilt to the right.
  • Focus on maintaining a similar distance in the backstroke and through-stroke. Repeat a few times while varying the stroke size. You should notice the arms and torso are more connected and moving in symmetry and unison.
  • You can finish by introducing a putter after you’ve established the basics and are comfortable with practice swings. Hold your putter underneath the sticks with the shaft in the ‘V’ of the sticks. 

7. The Two Ball Putting Drill

This drill helps you check and correct the most complicated part of your putting stroke; ensuring the putter head is square at impact. Overthinking whether you’re improving this part of your technique can reduce the freedom and fluidity of your stroke. 

  • Place two balls next to each other and putt them at the same time. 
  • You should aim to get the balls to roll together in the same direction. The balls will only roll together in the same direction if your putter face is square at impact.
  • If you can’t get the balls to roll together, it means you’re coming in with a closed or open putter face and striking one before the other.
  • The drill is excellent for target line practice since the angle of the putter’s face at impact greatly determines the direction of the ball. 

Golf Practice Plans with Step by Step Schedules to Follow