8 Best Putting Drills To Make More Birdies
Written by August Noble

August Noble was first introduced to golf at 7 years old. In 2013 he started seriously working on his game and was able to reduce his handicap from 19 to 3.4 in less than two years. He's been helping other golfers do the same ever since. Current Handicap: 4

Updated on December 12, 2023

Putting is often overlooked by weekend golfers… but always respected by low handicappers.


Because the the best golfers know what the hacks don’t.

Putting is one of the most important parts of golf.

If you’re serious about shooting lower scores, put down your driver and learn how to putt like the pros.

A 300-yard drive counts for the same amount of strokes as a 3-foot putt.

So take a break from learning how to increase your distance and get serious about improving your putting.

These putting drills will give you confidence with your putter and turn you into golfer you want to be. Stop wondering how to make more birdies while smashing drives on the range…

Start practicing your putting.

Read on to discover the best putting drills that will have you pouring in more birdies.

And a quick note: this is one of my absolute favorite putting mats that I’ve started using non-stop at home to practice some of the putting drills mentioned below:

Perfect for Home Practice
PrimePutt Putting Mat

Lower your score and increase consistency by practicing daily on a quality, tour-grade, true roll turf mat.

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I’ve tried several putting mats and the PrimePutt mat had the closest to a real grass feel. I was also amazed at how well it laid flat right out of the box.

I love that the ball sits at the back of the cup when you make one in. What this does is avoid having your next ball deflect out, which I thought was really cool.

The mat doesn’t leave massive footprints when you’re walking on it, like the other mats I tested.

Check out PrimePutt’s mat here.


1. The Clock Putting Drill

If you want to shoot lower scores you have to be able to make the short ones, this putting drill will help.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having a 3-foot par putt and walking away with bogey.  It happens to everyone, but the more you practice and learn how to putt consistently, the more you’ll see the ball fall into the hole.

The clock drill is one of the best ways to improve your consistency on 3-8 foot putts.  It’s been claimed that Phil Mickelson completes this drill (along with similar chipping drills) at least once during every one of his practice session.   You’re guaranteed to have these putts throughout your round and seeing them drop can make all the difference.

Clock Putting Drill

How to do the Clock Putting Drill

 Take 12 balls to the putting green and place them around the cup in 2-3 foot intervals.  Start with the 4 closest to the hole and work your way outward.  Every time you miss, restart the drill.

This will not only work on your rhythm and confidence, but also give you practice putting in pressure situations.  By the time you get to the 11th and 12th ball it will feel like your on the 18th trying to make a 9-foot putt to win the club championship.


2. The 1-2-3 Putting Drill

1-2-3 Putting Drill

Rhythm.  Possibly the most important aspect of being a great putter.  The 1-2-3 putting drill will help you develop a steady, consistent, putting stroke.

How to do the 1-2-3 Putting Drill

Place three balls in a row along the same line at equal distances.  I suggest 3, 6, and 9 feet to start.  Roll putts starting from the ball closest to the hole and moving outward.  This is a great drill to find rhythm before heading out on the course, or when you’re finishing up your practice for the day.

80% of your putts are going to be within 3-10 feet of the cup.  Having the confidence to make these will have you making more birdies and shooting lower scores.


3. The Meter Stick Drill

Meter Stick Drill

A great drill to make sure you are getting the putter-face square at impact and putting a good roll on the ball.

How to do the Meter Stick Putting Drill

Get a metal meter stick and place it six feet away from the hole (or any target) on the line where the ball should start off the putter face.  Set the ball on the end and hit your putt.  If the ball stays on the meter stick the whole way, it means your putter face was square at impact and you put a good roll on the ball.  This is also a great putting drill that you can do at home.


4. The Manilla Folder Putting Drill

Manilla Folder Putting Drill

This is one of the best putting drills to work on controlling the speed of your putts.  Putting speed drills are crucial for lag putting and avoiding the dreaded 3-putt.

How to do the Manilla Folder Putting Drill

Set a manilla folder on the practice green 6-10 feet away from you on a level surface.  Roll putts and try to have them stop on the folder.  The fast surface of the folder is difficult to hold, making you have to focus on the speed of your putt.  This drill really comes in handy on the slippery short ones.


5. Tiger’s Gate Putting Drill

Tiger's Gate Putting Drill

Made famous by Tiger Woods, this drill is guaranteed to help you develop confidence on your short putts.

How to do Tiger’s Gate Putting Drill

3-4 feet away from the hole place two tees just wider than the head of your putter, creating a gate for your putter to swing through.

Alternate hitting 12 putts with your right hand only (right handed golfers), then 6 putts with both hands.  Set a number of putts that you need to make in a row before ending the drill.

For Tiger it was 50 or 100 depending on the day.  The key for this drill is to make sure that your putter head is going straight back and straight through to the hole.  Seeing the short putts drop over-and-over will build your confidence and not let you give away any strokes on the course.


6. Pull Back Putting Drill

Pull Back Putting Drill

The Pull Back Putting Drill is well known and for good reason.  It’ll take the stress out of your knee-knockers and have you staring at the bottom of the cup.  Everybody knows the feeling of missing a 6-foot birdie putt… this drill can make sure you never feel it again.  Play this 9-hole pull back putting drill with some friends and you’ll be consistently rolling in 6-8 footers in no time.

How to do the 9-Hole Pull Back Putting Drill

1.  Start with one ball 10 feet away from the hole.  Roll your best putt.

2. Wherever the ball ends up (if you make it move to number 4), pull it one putter length further away from the hole and putt again.

3. Repeating this process until you make the putt.  Keeping your score as you go (1 putt = birdie, 2 putts = par, 3 putts = bogey) and so on.

4. Next move back to 20 feet and repeat the process.

5. Do this drill from 10, 20, and 30 feet three times in a row.  Playing a 9-hole round, trying to improve your rounds week to week.


7. 100 Straight Putts Drill

100 Straight Putts Drill

“Repetition is the father of learning.”

This 100 straight putts drill will teach you how to make short putts consistently and take any lingering stress out of those 2 foot “tap-ins”.  Whether you want to admit it or not, when the pressure is on, those 2 footers can start to look a little longer than they do on the practice green.

How to do the 100 Straight Putts Drill

Find a flat spot on the practice green and stick a tee 2-3 away from the cup.  Line up that short straight putt and knock it in.  Then do it 99 more times.  During this drill make sure you’re focusing on form and alignment.  Not only is this a great drill to work on technique, but seeing the 100 putts drop in a row will give you the confidence to make more putts during your round.

Pro tip: Do this drill with a putting alignment mirror to guarantee you never miss a short one again.

EyeLine Golf Putting Alignment Mirror

Portable practice putting trainer. Mirror size: 12 x 6 inches, As seen on PGA Tour.

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8. Jordan Spieth Putting Drills

Jordan Spieth Putting Drill

Image from Golf Digest

If you’ve watched Jordan Spieth putt you’ve probably wanted to know what he’s doing on the practice greens.  The guy gets in zones where 15 feet almost seems automatic.

To learn about 2 of Jordan’s favorite putting drills check out this segment from Jordan’s interview with Golf Digest about his favorite putting games.

Also if you’re interested in learning how you can get in the zone while you putt checkout NLP anchoring techniques that can be done with products like BoomBoom.


Use these putting drills and shoot lower scores…

There’s nothing stopping you from improving your golf game.  Head to the green with these putting drills and wear them out!  Commit at least 1 hour per week to working on these drills you’ll be shooting lower scores in no time.

Get the confidence to KNOW you are going to make that five footer.  There’s no reason why you can’t be a great putter and improve your game drastically.

You control whether or not you improve your putting.  Put the time in and reap the rewards.

No excuses!

Pro tip: For at least 10% of your practice, putt with just one ball and treat it like you would on the course.  Mark the ball, read the putt, and go through your routine before rolling it.  It will help you find the rhythm that you will use when you’re actually on the course.

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August Noble

August Noble was first introduced to golf at 7 years old. In 2013 he started seriously working on his game and was able to reduce his handicap from 19 to 3.4 in less than two years. He's been helping other golfers do the same ever since. Current Handicap: 4