Putting Arc Drill

GM Top 25 Coach Ged Walters suggests a simple putting arc drill to help you groove your stroke’s natural movement on the greens

Putting Arc Drill

GM Top 25 Coach Ged Walters suggests a simple putting arc drill to help you groove your stroke’s natural movement on the greens

Putting Arc Drill

Before we get into our putting arc drill, the first thing you need to do is to draw a nice line on your golf ball so you know the putter face is square to your chosen line at impact. The easiest way to do this is with one of the little devices you can see me using here and in the video.

Mark a very clear line on your golf ball

Why you 'should' always mark your golf ball

Then set up an arc of six or seven golf balls just feet-side of your ball. This represents the gentle and natural arc that your putter should ideally travel along as you make your stroke . Don’t put your ‘live’ ball down at this stage, but rather slowly move your putter back and through just outside the arc, following its gentle curve.

Watch Rory McIlroy's favourite childhood putting drills

Then speed things up to normal putting pace before introducing your ‘live’ ball. Again, let your putter’s movement mirror the arc of balls just inside your ball. This drill will help engrain the gentle natural arc your putter must follow – it would be impossible and unnatural to take it straight back and through given the angle that you’re standing at and the angle of the shaft.

Practise this, and your stroke will be more natural and more instinctive out on the course.

1 Draw a line Drawing a line on your ball with one of these gadgets will help you set your putterhead square to your chosen line more easily and more consistently.

Two more great short putting drills with GM Top 25 Coach Peter Dawson

2 The hover option Another way to do the arc drill is to grip down on your putter, then hover it over the arc of balls and move the putter back and forth above the balls as I'm doing in the accompanying video.

You may well prefer the 'hover' option

3 Follow the arc Either option works just as well, but visually, you may find it easier to really hone your natural arc with the hover option. You can do this on the practice green or, equally, on the carpet at home!


Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf