Luke Donald, the esteemed captain of Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, is known for his exceptional short game and putting skills. Recognizing the importance of putting in golf, he has developed a putting drill that can help golfers build confidence and improve their touch on the greens.

At the Ryder Cup, it became evident that the Europeans had a slight edge over the Americans in terms of Strokes Gained: Putting. While the difference may not have been significant, every shot counts in a tournament like the Ryder Cup, where the pressure is high. Making clutch putts can make a world of difference in scoring.

Luke Donald’s putting drill focuses on speed control, an aspect of putting where amateurs can gain an advantage over the pros. The drill aims to improve contact and ensure that the putter’s clubface is square at impact.

Donald dispels a common misconception about putting speed, emphasizing that acceleration is not about a short backstroke and a big follow-through. Instead, he suggests that solid contact is achieved through a longer backstroke and a shorter follow-through, almost like a little “pop.”

To practice this technique, Donald recommends using two tees stuck into the ground on the putting surface, with the ball placed between them. This setup creates a gate and helps golfers maintain a square clubface at impact, leading to solid contact and improved speed control.

During the drill, Donald points out that the clubface remains stable and does not move much during the stroke. He likens the feeling to hammering a nail, where a proper backswing and a slight “pop” create a better strike. The better the strike, the more control golfers will have over their putting speed.

By focusing on this drill and working on their putting stroke, golfers can gain control over an aspect of the game that is within their reach. While amateurs may not possess the same ball-striking abilities as the pros, they can still excel on the greens and make significant improvements to their scores.

Luke Donald’s putting drill serves as a reminder that golfers have the power to control certain aspects of their game. With dedication and practice, they can develop expert touch and confidence on the greens, just like the professionals. So, the next time you step onto the putting surface, remember to dial in your stroke, make solid contact, and enjoy watching your scores improve.

By Tim McAlvanah