Master Your Putting Game: 6 Effective Putting Drills for Precision, Speed, & Alignment

Putting drills will help make you a better golfer and lower your scores on the course
Putting practice is essential to shooting lower scores out on the golf course

Putting is often referred to as the “game within the game” of golf. We couldn’t agree more. It’s where scores (low or high) are ultimately determined, making it one of the most crucial elements of the game to master. Improving your putting requires more than just practice; it requires strategic drills tailored to enhance accuracy, speed, and alignment. In this guide, we’ll explore eight of the most effective putting drills that will refine your skills and take your putting game to new heights. Let’s get into it. (If you really want to get dialed, book a putting lesson in our state-of-the-art Stephen Sweeney Putt Lab here.)

1. Gate Drill For Alignment

You didn’t think we’d skip this one, did you? The classic putting drill known as the gate drill is one of the simplest and most effective putting drills for alignment. Here’s how it works:

  • Setup: Grab two golf tees and place each one about 1/4″ away from either side of your putter head vertically.
  • Execution: Next, just simply make your stroke. If your putter makes contact with the tee closest to you – you’re pulling your putts. If your putter makes contact with the tee furthest from you – you’re pushing your putts.
  • Benefit: Enhances alignment precision, ensuring your putter face stays square to the target at impact.

Now to really get the most out of your putting practice, allow yourself to make 3 putts in a row without touching either tee before you move on to your next putting drill.

The gate drill is a timeless putting drill for proper alignment

2. Clock Drill For Distance Control

The clock putting drill. You’ll see this one (or at least variations of it) on tour pretty frequently. Here’s what to do:

  • Setup: Grab 12 golf balls. Set up all 12 balls at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, o’clock and so on, all the way through 12.
  • Execution: Simply start hitting putts from 12 o’clock and work your way around the “clock”. Once you make all 12 putts, make your “clock” larger and repeat.
  • Benefit: Make this one a regular part of your putting practice to improve distance control, crucial for judging speed on different greens.

The clock drill is an easy way to get in some putting practice before your round

3. Coin Drill for Putting Accuracy

The coin drill is one of our favorite putting drills for accuracy. Plus, it only costs 25 cents. That’s pretty cheap putting practice if you ask us. Here’s how to do it:

  • Setup: Place a coin or marker on the green at a specific distance from the hole.
  • Execution: Aim to roll your ball over the coin consistently, focusing on hitting the target with precision.
  • Benefit: Enhances accuracy by training your eye to aim at a specific spot on the green that’s even smaller than a typical golf hole.

The coin drill is a simple drill perfect for quick putting practice

4. 3-6-9 Putting Practice

The 3-6-9 drill (not affiliated with the song) is putting practice supreme. This one needs to be in your arsenal next time your getting your practice reps in. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Setup: Place three tees in a line at 3 feet, 6 feet, and 9 feet from the hole.
  • Execution: Start by holing three putts from 3 feet, then move to 6 feet, and finally to 9 feet. Repeat until you’ve holed a set number of putts.
  • Benefit: Builds confidence and consistency in short to mid-range putts, crucial for scoring.

The 3,6,9 putting drill is a great drill for improving your distance control

5. The One-Handed Putting Drill

You’ve without a doubt seen Tiger doing this a time or two. If Tiger does it, you should too.

  • Setup: Grip the putter with only your lead hand (left hand for right-handed golfers, right hand for left-handed golfers).
  • Execution: Make putting strokes using only your lead hand, focusing on maintaining control and tempo.
  • Benefit: Develops touch and feel in your putting stroke, enhancing overall control over the putt.

One-handed putting practice enhances overall control of the putt
Image courtesy of Golf Digest

6. Club Behind Hole

Last on our list of putting drills (not for any particular reason) is a simple distance control drill. Here’s how to do it:

  • Setup: Lay the pin or a golf club on the ground 1-2 feet behind the hole. Stand back 10-20 feet from the hole.
  • Execution: Practice putting from various distances focusing on getting the ball as close to the hole as possible, but not touching the club or pin behind the hole.
  • Benefit: Improves speed control, essential for lag putting and avoiding costly three-putts.

This putting drill will help you stop putts close to the hole


Consistent and effective putting practice is the mark of any skilled golfer. By incorporating these putting drills into your practice routine, you’ll not only refine your skills but also gain the confidence needed to sink crucial putts next time you’re out on the course. Remember, putting practice isn’t just about quantity; it’s about quality repetitions that target specific aspects of your putting game.

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