Millions of people around the world have been forced into self-isolation as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Live sporting events have been postponed for months and sports nuts are restricted to watching reruns on tv of past matches and tournaments.
Golfers always complain that they don’t have time to practice their swings or putting strokes, this, however, isn’t a valid excuse anymore. Below we are going to look at 6 drills that you can do at home using household items which will without a doubt get your golf game into tip-top shape.
In order to get consistent putting results on the golf course, it is very important to have a putting stroke with good fundamentals.
One of the most important fundamentals to have is a putting stroke that goes straight back and straight through the impact zone. When the stroke gets longer on distance putts the arch of the putting stroke will be slightly towards the inside, which is what is supposed to happen.
The first 3 – 4 inches on the backstroke and follow-through has to be as straight as possible.
Having a putter head that moves through the hitting area with a square clubface will lead to consistency in strike and direction, thus more putts holed with good speed. The train track drill is a great putting drill to practice this fundamental with.
Take two alignment sticks, or golf clubs, and align them in the shape of train tracks on your carpet or home putting mat, set up the train tracks about 6 feet away from a target, an empty plastic cup is a good substitute for a hole.
The width of the tracks has to be slightly wider than your putter’s width, it is important that your putter can move freely between the tracks, but don’t allow yourself too much room for error.
This drill will improve the path of your putting stroke, and the great thing about it is that it can be done within the safety of your home.
Another key fundamental of a consistent putting stroke is good rhythm. Having good rhythm will lead to consistency in strike and distance control, both factors that will lead to improved putting results.
In order to have a putting stroke with good rhythm it is important to use your shoulders to rock the putter back and through.
Gripping the putter with 2 fingers only is a great putting drill that will force you to use your shoulders in order to stroke the putt.
Open your hands up, place your hands on either side of your grip, the hands will resemble hands that are in the prayer position, line the grip up so that your middle fingers are the only 2 fingers that are touching the putter grip.
At first, it will feel nearly impossible to putt the ball, but your body will figure out that you need to use your shoulders in order to generate enough speed to make a putting stroke.
This is a great putting drill that will train a good shoulder turn in your putting stroke, and as a byproduct of a good shoulder turn you will have improved rhythm.
Leave your putter and a couple of golf balls in your living room on the carpet, hit 10 putts with the prayer grip everytime you walk past, when you do make it out to the golf course again your putting stroke will be rhythmic and ready to roll.
Distance Control Towel Drill
Speed and distance control are both key factors when it comes to chipping. Distance control is important because you have to land the ball short of the hole in order for it to roll out and stop close to the hole.
Speed is also important and it’s mainly determined by trajectory, higher shots will land softly and roll out less than a low chip shot.
In order to get the ball close to the hole, your landing spot and trajectory need to match up. The towel drill is a great drill if you want to practice landing your golf ball on your landing spot.
A fancy golf training aid isn’t always required, for this simple backyard short game drill place a small towel about 5 to 10 yards away from you. Chip at the towel and try to land the ball onto the towel at least 10 times.
The towel drill is more than just a fun challenge, it also teaches essential skills that are sure to improve your chipping out on the golf course.
One Leg Balance Drill
Many amateur golfers have the tendency to lose their balance when they hit a chip shot. In general they tend to fall back onto their back foot, the right foot for right-handed players.
The results of falling back on your back foot when chipping can be disastrous, the general miss when losing your balance normally results in a bladed chip shot that flies across the green.
The one-leg balance drill is the perfect home short game drill that will teach you how to keep your weight on your front foot at impact. For this drill, stand on your front foot (left foot for right-handed players) and proceed to chip like you normally would.
If you fall back you will fall over and completely miss the ball. This is also a drill that is very easy to do and it will be a great addition to your at-home/indoor practice schedule.
The Perfect Takeaway Drill
Any good golf swing starts with a good takeaway, to practice the perfect takeaway, you will need a couple of props and a friend.
First, find a tennis ball and a soccer ball (basketball also works). Take your address position with a 7-iron while your friend waits holding the two props.
Ask them to place the tennis ball between your forearms and the soccer ball between your knees. They should be positioned so that they are wedged in place and won’t fall out easily.
With all that set, start making your takeaway. The goal is to hold the two balls in place while getting the club successfully to a position where it is parallel with the ground.
In order to succeed at this drill, you will be required to move the club with only your shoulders – too much hand or leg movement will cause one of the props to fall. If done correctly, you will be given the feeling of what a perfect takeaway should be.
Do about 25 of these everyday, after a couple of weeks it will start to feel natural to you and the results will speak for themselves out on the golf course.
Backswing Shoulder Turn Drill
To get a better understanding of how long your backswing should be, try this simple drill. Take your golf club and hold it across your chest with your arms crossed.
The grip end should be pointing out to your left towards an imaginary target. Stand in your address position and start turning your shoulders back as if making a backswing.
The club will turn along with you, and be pointing wherever your shoulders are pointing. When you can’t turn comfortably anymore, stop and look at where the club is pointing. It should be at least at the ball, and even a little behind the ball if you are flexible.
This is the point at which your shoulders stop, and where your backswing as a whole should stop in your regular swing. Now take the club back into your hands and make some practice backswings.
Take note of where your shoulders stopped in the drill, and try to stop your full backswing at that point. Don’t let your arms carry on further than your shoulders want to go – that extra reach back will only cause you harm.
Don’t let John Daly fool you. A long backswing is way more trouble than it is good. Keep your backswing tight and under control. Your body will remain balanced and properly positioned for the most important part of all – actually sending the club downward into the ball.
Golf is a very complex game, it requires practice and hard work and even then there are no guarantees that your scores will improve.
Society is going through unprecedented times at the moment, the majority of the world as we know it has come to a standstill and the long term effects of this pandemic remain unknown.
What I do know is that by doing these drills you will definitely not harm your golf game, and it will be way better for you to be proactive giving the current situation of self-isolation that we find ourselves in instead of just sitting around waiting for it to pass by.