WHAT IS THE CIRCLE OF LOVE IN PUTTING?
The circle of love in golf is a 3- to 4-foot circle around the golf hole where good putters will feel confident that they will hole the ball in one shot. PGA Tour Pros are nearly automatic (99%) from within three feet of the hole. From four feet and in tour pro's hole approximately 90% of their putts. From five feet away from the hole they hole about 80% of their putts. And from 8 feet away from the hole, it's a coin flip - even tour pro's hole just 50% of their putts from this distance. This means that anytime your golf ball is 8 feet or more from the cup, you're statistically more likely to 3 putt. These putting statistics should be eye-opening on just how important the circle of love is to lower golf scores.
Professional Golf Instructor Sandy Jamieson shares that the North-South-East-West Putting Drill revolutionizes the way you think about your golf game and most definitely, the way you think about putting. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or pro, getting your ball into that 3-foot circle is the key to better scores.
North-South-East-West Putting Drill
The north-south-east-west putting drill starts by laying out four rows of golf balls that are spaced one foot apart in the four main directions of the compass. The purpose of four directions is that you'll get uphill and downhill putts, as well as different breaking putts. The objective of this drill is to hole all of the balls consecutively. Any misses, result in repeating the line. This builds some scoring pressure.
You start with the closest ball. If you've got a large mallet style putter you'll need to offset the golf balls a little bit to make room for your takeaway. A narrower bladed style putter should fit between the balls easily. Starting at the closest ball, go through your full putting routine. Once you've holed the first ball, move back to the second, third and so on. Again, if you miss, the rules of the game say that you have to start over. now the temptation would be to go back but I need to get all the golf balls out and start again.
You're going to find out pretty quickly what range you're comfortable and competent. Upon completing your first line, move to the second. This could be moving from uphill putts to the downhill putts for example. The uphill putts are usually the easiest and help you build confidence.
Why does this drill revolutionize the way you think about golf? By doing this drill you're going to find out where your comfort zone is. So, if you are holing your 5 footers at a high percentage, then this expands your comfort zone and your target zone for getting the ball close. If, however, you are only holing the one-footer comfortably, then this will put more pressure on other areas of your short game. If you can get comfortable out to four feet, imagine how many more times you're going to get up and down with par or birdie and imagine how relaxed you're going to feel that on the golf course.
Good Setup will Equal Consistent Results
As you practice the tee peg alley drill make sure that you are paying attention close attention to using a good address position, especially getting your eyes directly over the ball. Take a comfortable putting stance that places the golf ball directly below your eyes. This can be tested by placing a golf ball against your forehead, then just gently releasing the ball to the ground. If you are aligned properly, the ball will land directly on top of the ball on the ground.
Even, Steady, Upward Stroke Directly in the Sweet Spot
Ideally, you want your putter face to be striking the golf ball slightly on the upstroke. This will create a little topspin and a better roll. To ensure that you are consistently stroking your putts into the sweet spot of the putter, the tees in the ground that are just a fraction wider than the width of the putter blade will guide you and provide instant feedback. These tees form an alley for putter blade to pass between. When your stroke it steady and even, the putter blade will pass between to the tee pegs cleanly with no contact.
Improved Putting is the Fastest Way to Lower Your Golf Scores
Putting represents between 40% to 60% of the score of most golfers. Add the north, south, east and west drill to your practice regimen and soon you will be walking onto greens with greater accuracy & confidence.
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