Putt on the Carpet

Practicing putting on the carpet has been the SINGLE MOST VALUABLE thing I have done to reduce my scores. Period. I am willing to bet that if that’s all you did, and you never practiced anything else for the entire season, your score would drop. I could almost guarantee that.

So why not try it? Give it 30 minutes a day. Here’s how I recommend getting started:

  1. Bring your putter inside, wash it off, and then grab 10-20 of your favorite balls.
  2. Pick a place that you can stand in your living room, den or office (it just needs to have a carpet and not be in the way of the rest of your family members).
  3. Find a wall to aim towards that’s 8-12 feet away. It’s the 6 – 10 foot range that can really make the most difference in your game if you begin dropping these consistently.
  4. Gather the balls together in a bunch together next to you and pick a spot against the wall to aim towards.
  5. Take the first ball (don’t bother to line up the cheat line unless you really want to) and hit it with your putter so that the ball gently taps into the wall.
  6. Take the second ball and hit it so that it rolls to about 12 inches in front of the first ball. Don’t worry about whether the second ball is on the exact same line as the first one and don’t worry if you miss and roll it further or shorter. At some point you will get it to go almost exactly where you intended.

*Your goal is to learn to control the distance of your putts*

  1. Take the third ball and hit it so that it rolls to 12 inches in front of the first ball.
  2. Keep doing this until you are out of balls. Ideally you should have a line of balls between you and the wall at which you were aiming that are each 1 foot apart.
  3. Give yourself a goal of how many balls actually end up close to where you intended. A goal of 2 or 3/10 balls that are spaced about 12 inches apart is a good start.
  4. Reward yourself by listening to your favorite song afterwards or with a star on the calendar.

Just remember:

1)      Your goal is to master the speed. Forget about the line. My carpet has bumps, the floor of my office slopes a bit to one side, and it is in a seemingly perpetual state of needing to be vacuumed.  The goal is to get it close to an area on the rug not to roll it perfectly straight.

2)      Follow a similar routine as the one on the course. Indoors you will be slightly different because you don’t have any line to read. Everything else should be the same.

When you get good at this you can make adjustments that will better improve your skill. Try rolling your balls to 9, 6, or even 3 inches apart. Again, rejoice and reward yourself when you meet your goal. If you never get better than 7/10 balls that are 12 inches apart that’s perfectly fine. You may also include other things you need to work on as you wish.

To make sure your putter is aimed properly pick a spot on the carpet and aim your cheat line. You don’t get in trouble, however, if the ball goes off-line; you’re practicing aiming.

To make sure you are hitting the ball square on the putter put tape or rubber bands around the sweet spot.

To make sure your putter is going straight back and forth put down two other clubs, or tees, or string, and set your putter path to go through.

To make sure you are accelerating through the ball make sure your putter continues after hitting the ball and passes some point on the ground well beyond where the ball was. You never want to slow down your stroke while hitting. Just keep your left hand going towards your spot on the wall.

To make sure you are keeping your head down don’t turn to look at where the ball is going until you can no longer see it in your peripheral vision.

In an ideal world you could even have a line of balls as many balls as you wanted extending from you to the wall that were perfectly spaced. If you were able to control your speed to within a cup-width (about 3 inches) from 12 feet in then you could even never miss a putt within that range again.♣