Putting Drills for College Golfers

As a college golfer, you have a busy schedule. Between morning gym workouts, classes, team golf practices, and travel to different golf tournaments, it can be tough to balance everything and still be successful on the golf course.

But if you can find extra time to practice your golf game on your own outside of team activities, you should definitely do so!

Today we’re going to outline some simple putting drills for you to add to your college golf practice routine so you can continue building your short game skills and climb the ranks of your golf team securing your spot on the roster for tournaments.

You can also check out our How to Break 70 in Golf Practice Plan which gives you many more challenging putting drills, chipping drills, and driving range practice routines. Invest in yourself!

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Putting Drills to Add to College Golf Practice

High Volume Repetition from 6 Feet

Practice making putts from 6 feet. Take sets of 5 balls and perform 50 putts, tracking how many you make out of 50 from 6 feet.

This is high volume putting drill where you may do a few hundred repetitions per week but you’ll build skill and start sinking more putts inside 6 feet.

The Compass Putting Drill

When you think of a compass, it has north, south, east, and west markers. This is how we want to set up 4 tees around the hole to mark 4 foot distances to work on different breaking putts from uphill, downhill, left to right break, and right to left break.

Ideally, your practice green should have 9 holes on it allowing you to set up this drill for a total of 36 putts. Try to make all 4 putts from around the hole to score 4 points, and then move to the next hole and set up this drill again.

After completing it 9 times, see if you score at least 33 out of 36 with the goal being to score perfect 36/36.

You can move back to 5 feet once you successfully score 36/36 three times (three different practice days) to prove you have built consistency from this distance and it wasn’t a lucky one day.

PRACTICE PLAN: Get more golf drills like this in our How to Break 70 Practice Plan

Around the World Putting Drill

This college putting drill requires 20 tees, 5 set up N, S, E, and W at one foot intervals starting from 3 feet. This allows you to practice putts from all 4 angles around the hole and from 5 different distances (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 feet).

Start at any tee you’d like and as you sink each putt, remove the tee. If you miss, you can’t remove the tee. Go “around the world” sinking putts from all 20 locations to complete this putting drill for college golfers.

If you’d like to put pressure or improve over time, count how many attempts total it takes to sink all 20 putts.

PRACTICE PLAN: Get more golf drills like this in our How to Break 80 Practice Plan

Putting Aim – Coin Test

Check your putter face aim by hitting putts to a coin a few feet away. Imagine a straight line between your ball and the coin.

Once you strike the putt, the ball should stay on this straight line until it reaches the coin, traveling over the top of the coin on the ground or bumping into the coin.

15 Foot Birdie Putting

At the college and professional level, you’re going to find yourself hitting most wedge shots from 30 to 100 yards to within 15 feet of the hole. If not, you need to spend more practice time on your pitching to get a better proximity to the hole.

This will leave you a lot of birdie tries from 10-20 feet range so this is important to practice your 15 foot putts and give yourself a chance to make a few birdies per round at this range of putting.

There’s not too much to this drill other than hitting a high volume of putts from all 4 sides of the hole to work on uphill, downhill, left, and right breaking putts.

PRACTICE PLAN: Get more golf drills like this in our How to Break 90 Practice Plan

Aim to putt 50 reps from each side, totaling 200 putts. But only putt 10 at a time and move to a new location that way you break up the 50 reps and keep yourself focused.

You can also add in some scoring criteria to add some additional pressure. For example, if you leave the putt short, you lose a point. If you hole the putt you score 2 points. If you hit a putt more than 3 feet past the hole, you lose a point.

This scoring system will help keep you focused on never leaving a birdie try short but also not blasting it past the hole, resulting in a long putt coming back and potentially 3 putting.

Before you go, make sure to check out these golf practice plans! Each has proven drills to help you improving your scoring and build a strong short game!

Box Drill: Putting Speed Control

Controlling your putting speed is crucial to getting the ball to break properly and finish in the hole. On missed putts, you still need the ball to stay close to the hole so you can finish with an easy, short tap in putt.

Therefore, you should spend at least half of your practice time working on putting and during your putting practice sessions you should spend at least half of the time on distance / speed control drills to build feel on the greens.

The box drill is effective at building your distance control skills and should be practiced a few times per week to see consistency start to develop in your short game.

How to Set Up the Box Drill:

  1. In this drill you’ll create an imaginary rectangle box using 4 tees. Measure the box 3 feet wide and about 1.5 feet deep with your 4 tees marking the edges of the box.
  2. Now measure a putt 6 feet away from the center of this box. Hit 3 putts trying to get all 3 inside the box. If you mishit any too short or that roll beyond the box limits, start over.
  3. Once you successfully get all 3 inside the box, you’ve mastered speed control for that distance so move on to the next distance further back.
  4. This drill should be done from 6 feet, 9 feet, 12 feet, 15 feet, 18 feet, 21 feet, 24 feet, and 30 feet.
  5. You can also continue on measuring back in 3 feet increments to 60 feet if you’d like to work on many more distances for speed control.

Reverse Ladder Lag Putt Drill

Your first question might be what is a “reverse ladder” and rightly so. Golfers often refer to a ladder drill as one where you start close to the hole and you progressively get further away from the hole, working your way up the ladder.

If we visualize this on the ground, imagine marking off putts every 1 foot away from the hole with tees from 1 foot all the way back to 10 feet away from the hole. Each tee would serve as a rung on the ladder.

With a reverse ladder putting drill, you’ll be working in reverse starting farther away and gradually getting closer to the hole with each putt.

This putting drill will build your speed control on the putting greens by having you putt from a long distance, known as a lag putt, and working your way in towards where you are putting from.

Setting up the Lag Putt Reverse Ladder Drill

  1. Measure out a point 40 feet away from you and mark it with a tee.
  2. Now putt a golf ball to that tee trying to get within 2 feet of it. Next putt another ball but the goal is to stop it short of the previous golf ball by a foot or two.
  3. Repeat this effort of trying to putt each successive ball a few feet shorter than the previous ball until you get within 2 feet of where you are putting from.

This coming down the ladder from 40 feet away to 2 feet away from you is a great putting drill to hone in distance control. You’ll see the benefits show up on the golf course when you face different lag putts and you’ll feel confidence from a wide range of putts between 3 feet and 40 feet away from the hole.

It takes lots of control to get each putt to travel a shorter distance than the previous. You’ll need to rely on feel. Each putt should feel a certain way based on how much power you hit it with. Over time you’ll begin to feel differences between long putts and shorter putts.

Straight Putting Stroke Drill

This is one of my favorite putting drills to practice to start putts on line correctly.

It’s similar to the double gate putting drill, which uses tees to create a gate for the putter and for the ball to pass through on the way towards the hole.

But this drill uses two golf irons or alignment rods instead to form a gated path to the hole. I like to call them bumper guards like at a bowling alley.

The two golf irons will be laid down on the ground parallel to each other and pointing at the hole.

The width between them will only be a putter head wide to force you to keep your putting stroke square and straight. If not, your putter will bump into the guard rails (alignment rods).

The golf ball will have a straight line path down to the hole so the goal is to hit a solid, straight putt and watch it roll straight between the alignment rods.

Any mishit putts will show as the alignment rods serve as a straight path allowing you to see putts that veer off-line or perhaps even make contact with the guard rails.

If the ball can start on-line the first few feet of the putt, then by the time it leaves the alignment rod path, it should continue on straight to the hole.

Overall, give this putting drill a try and you’ll see your putting stroke improve and your ability to start putts on the correct line will also improve.

Club Path Putting Drill:

  1. Find a flat putt and measure out 6 feet away from the hole
  2. Lay down 2 golf clubs about a putters width apart from each other
  3. Set your golf ball down near the grip end
  4. Stroke putts straight down the line between the clubs, into the cup
  5. Monitor if the ball bumps into the clubs or stays straight

Putting Tips to Make More Putts in College Golf Tournaments

There are tons of golf putting tips out there if you do a quick search on Google. But how many of these so called “putting tips” actually improve your short game and help you cut strokes off your golf handicap.

If you’ve been stuck shooting consistent scores on the golf course, then try these putting techniques below during practice and you should see instant improvement.

Putting Tip #1: Keep track of your putts made versus putts attempted.

How often do you get to the practice green, whip out a few balls, and start stroking random putts with no real purpose or intention behind each putt? Sound familiar?

If you have a habit of grabbing a few balls out of your bag and putting to random holes for 15 minutes before heading out to play 18, then this putting tip will help you improve the quality of those 15 minutes.

I want you to take 5 balls out of your bag (Titleist is who I use) and start with one hole to putt to. Work on breaking putts as well as flat putts.

The key here is recording your made putts versus your putts attempted.

For example, if I hit 10 breaking putts, I’m going to track how many of them were makes and try to improve this score the next time!

Practice your putting with purpose by recording statistics and setting goals. An example goal could be to make 60% of the putts attempted.

This means you’ll need to make 3 out of every 5 putts from inside 20 feet. Putts outside of 20 feet are not worth keeping track of because they are in the range of two putts.

Putting Tip #2: Master the 3 Foot Putt and then Work Backwards

One of the first things professional golfers do when they step onto a practice green is work on the 3 foot putt. Phil Mickelson challenges himself to sink 100 in a row. Tiger Woods sets up tees and does the gate drill which he’s become famous for.

By working from 3 feet first, you establish confidence in your subconscious mind by seeing the ball roll into the cup time and time again.

Once you consistently can knock in 25, 50, or even 100 in a row from 3 feet, you should move backwards to 4 feet, 5 feet, etc. Work to master each distance to the point you can make 80% of your putts.

Putting Tip #3: Never leave breaking putts below the hole.

You’ll never make a putt that is left on the low side of the hole. This is a huge putting tip to remember mentally when reading greens and judging break.

To help you work on this skill, I want you to place a tee on the low side of the hole and in front of the hole so that the tee is between you and the hole.

This way for breaking putts if you don’t play enough break the tee will block the ball from entering the low side of the hole.

It will train you to always give yourself a chance to make the putt by never leaving putts on the low side. Play enough break and you’ll see more putts go in.

Putting Tip #4: Close Your Eyes and Stroke Lag Putts

Lag putting is an area many beginners struggle and it costs you strokes. How many 3 putts do you average per round?

My golf putting tip to cure 3 putting would be work on your lag putts, but do so with your eyes closed!

Pace out a 30 foot to 50 foot putt by making 10 to 15 strides that are about 3 feet in length. Or you can use your 3 foot long putter.

Get yourself set up like you normally would for a putt of this distance and right before you make the stroke close your eyes. Then while your eyes are closed use your senses to judge how hard you think you hit the putt.

Guess in your head whether your putt will be short, the right distance, or long. Open your eyes and evaluate your putt and if you were right or wrong.

This teaches you feel.

Feel is important for stroking lag putts that roll the proper distance so that you can have tap-in’s for the next putt and avoid a dreaded 3 putt.

Putting Tip #5: Perform the 100 putt test once a week

Each week you should test yourself and compare with previous weeks to see if you are improving.

Pick a distance to putt from such as 5 feet and place a tee there to hold the spot. Using 5 or 10 balls perform sets of putts until you’ve putted 100 times from 5 feet.

Record how many you made out of 100 and this is your make percentage at 5 feet.

If you putt with break then make sure to use the same break if possible every week. Otherwise it may be beneficial to find a flat putt.

Again, these are 5 simple putting tips to take to the course and make your practices more focused even if it’s only a few minutes of warming up before heading out onto the course. Pride yourself in getting better and take all putts serious.

Thanks for reading today’s putting tips and be sure to comment below any struggles you’re having that we can write future posts on to help you with. Also, let us know if you’ve been implementing these putting tips before on our own prior to reading about them today!

Golf Practice System for Lower Scores

Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.

Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.

Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.

Start Following These Practices —> Nick Foy Golf Practice System

Work hard,

Nick Foy, Instructor

nick foy golf

*Some links on this page may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting me.

Golf Practice System for Lower Scores

Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.

Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.

Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.

Start Following These Practices —> Nick Foy Golf Practice System

Work hard,

Nick Foy, Instructor

nick foy golf

*Some links on this page may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting me.

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