In the afternoons on hot August days here at OMGC, you can hear the proverbial crickets chirping in the clubhouse. (Did you see that? I swear a tumbleweed just blew through the pro shop.)
Climatic conditions don’t always allow us to practice on the course, so here are a couple of indoor practice drills you can do in the air conditioned comfort of your living room.
To be a good putter, you stroke has to follow the target line, your forward stroke must equal or slightly exceed your backstroke, and your putter must stay square on your target line. To work on your putting at home:
- find two large books that are relatively the same size (think textbook-sized) and place them on the floor with enough space for your putter to barely swing through.
- Center your ball between the books and make your stroke, using the length of the books as a guide for matching your forward and back strokes. If you find yourself hitting either of the books, you’ve strayed off your putting line.
- Take this drill a step further by adding a string to mark your target line. Set the putter up perpendicular to that line, then watch to see if the line falls to the left or right as your ball rolls after impact. If it does, you’ve either rolled off-line or made contact with an open- or closed-face.
Pitching requires a hefty amount of control. To work on your pitching at home:
- Put your bathmat or a hand towel down 10 to 12 feet away from you’ll be standing with your club.
- Make short, smooth strokes with your hands ahead of the clubface and chip balls onto the mat.
- Work on trying to make the ball land on the mat and stop instead of rolling onto it.
- Practice with a variety of clubs to achieve a greater amount of control chipping.
- After you’ve practiced at home, be sure to try this same drill on the course and see how much you’ve improved!
Great advice: Don’t try these indoor practice drills with real golf balls. Practice with limited flight balls or balls with holes to avoid breaking the knicknacks or the good china. If you end up sleeping on the couch or in the doghouse, don’t say we didn’t warn you.