Calibrate Your Putting Stroke With This Simple Pre-Round Drill

Introducing this pre-round putting drill, from Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Andy Gorman, will help to get you firing with the flat stick...

Brian Harman and Rory McIlroy hitting putts on the green
Putting is one of the most important areas of the game, but is often neglected by amateur golfers in their pre-round practice...
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The feeling of excitement when you arrive at the course before a round of golf is hard to beat, but despite all the best advice and tips, amateur golfers often neglect one key area of their preparations. For many, their main stop prior to the first tee is the driving range, with little time allocated to the practice putting green.

With so much resting on your performance with the putter, it might be worth re-considering the balance of your practice time. In this article, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Andy Gorman shares a simple pre-round putting drill that will set you up for success on the course...

Pre-Round Putting Drill

Before going out to play, find a level part of the putting green and measure out a 10ft putt (roughly three standard putter lengths). I practise on a green stimping at ten, so I know that a 10in backswing and forward swing will give me a 10ft roll-out.

If practising on slower or faster greens, you will need to adjust things, but this is a great drill to get a feel for the length of the stroke and to give a solid calibration for the speed on the day. Do this for at least six putts – three in both directions.

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Andy Gorman demonstrating a 10ft putting drill

Add this 10ft pre-round putting drill to your practice routine

(Image credit: Vicky Jones)

Move out to 30-35ft and double the backswing length to see how that equates. You’ll need to lengthen the stroke to see what it takes to get it there, but try to keep tempo the same as on the 10ft putt for good rhythm.

Avoid a short backswing then rapid acceleration as that leads to inconsistency – match the stroke back and through. This gets harder from longer range, but will give you a nice feeling of how to hit a 30ft putt.  

Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Andy Gorman demonstrating a 6ft putting drill

This putting drill will help to build your confidence before heading out onto the course

(Image credit: Vicky Jones)

Finally, focus on what you want to do over a 6ft putt, which will be around two putter lengths. We often miss short putts as we don’t have enough speed on them, so a good feel is to make sure the putter head goes past the big toe on the forward stroke.

This is a great way to commit to the forward stroke and to get the right amount of momentum. It’s also a nice simple thought to remember and feel, as you quite often have a number of things running through your head as you stand over a short putt you really need to make to keep your score ticking over.   

Andy Gorman
Top 50 Coach

Location: Wishaw GC

Andy has been coaching for over 30 years and he now specialises in the short game and putting. He has worked with a collection of both male and female tour pros and he helped take Charley Hull from a ‘conditional’ LET status to five second places in her first five starts in her rookie season before then playing in the Solheim Cup. Andy helped improve her putting stats from 34.3 to 30.49 putts per round.

Teaching philosophy:

To release a player’s instinctive capability by understanding their posture, balance and brain work together to achieve a repeatable reliable method.

Greatest teacher:

Seve Ballesteros, in the early 80s, he allowed me to watch him closely whilst he was practising his short game during tournaments at The Belfry. Seve would show me what he was doing and, although communication wasn’t great, he made sure I understood what to watch out for. Timeless advice which, I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I certainly do now.

Most common impact fault:

Closed clubface on putts causing a pulled putt result. Poor posture is invariably the cause from an ill-fitting putter. Fitting the putter to provide optimum posture and essentially allow the body to facilitate the required movement so the wrists don’t break down pre-impact.