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This instructor's favorite installation drill has nothing to do with the hole

Forget about the hole when you practice putting, says Tim Gillis. Do this instead.

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If you're looking for a way to cover more putts, chances are, you believe your best bet is to just practice doing just that: hitting more putts. While there are a number of exercises you can do in that case, from global methods and placing gates to use lasers, mirrors and wires, one senior lecturer has a novel recommendation: forget about the hole. completely if you practice putting.

Tim Gillis, who teaches at John's Island Club in Vero Beach, Fla., says his favorite drill involves using the edge of the green as a target instead of the hole.


“Getting that ball to stop on the green helps one really work on the skill and be driven by the process, not worrying about the results,” Gillis said. “They are not worried about whether the ball goes in or not. They are actually honing that skill.”

To apply Gillis' method to your game, the first step is to identify the weak range. Let's say that falls short from 30 feet. Walk that distance from the end of the green, and put the tea on the ground. Release three balls and work on creating a strong spread around the edges of the green.

“When you find yourself in the basket and golf balls on the edge of the green, that's when you start walking and see what other distances you're struggling with, make sure you find them. that solid dispersion from each distance you choose, instead of those golf balls being all over the place,” Gillis said.

Golfer holding a sleeve of golf balls in hand

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As you begin, don't be discouraged by uncontrollable distractions. That's what this ball is for, after all. The important thing is to keep putting from the same distance until you can achieve the strong dispersion you want at the edges of the green.

According to Gillis, the drill also has a secondary benefit.

“Many times we will see this machine, we will find errors in the student's editing and typing,” he said. “Sometimes the front of the student – which I think is the most important part of the stroke – is not in line with the shaft, which will make it very difficult to control that the putter goes back and passes, so they are kind of chicken-wing, or holding too far up or away much less.

“It's really important to make that trailing arm align with the shaft so it works as one unit instead of two pieces fighting against each other,” Gillis continued. “Those problems must be solved before the student can begin to understand how the putter moves, which usually takes a few rounds of putting.”

Put Gillis' advice to work during your next practice session, and start making more putts this season.

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As a four-year member of Columbia's inaugural class of women's varsity golfers, Jessica knows how to beat anyone on the golf course. He can pass them through the office, too, where he is primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF's first Style Issue, which began in February 2018. His first interview series, “A Round With,” released in November 2015, and appeared in both magazine and video form on

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