Top 5 Putting Drills to Work on Your Speed Control

Gain Strokes With Better Speed Control

Putting is one of the most critical aspects of golf. It’s the part of the game where you can make up for lost strokes and gain an advantage over your competitors. However, putting requires a lot of skill and practice to master. One of the most important skills in putting is speed control. If you can’t get the speed right, your chances of making putts will decrease significantly.

In this article, we’ll go over the top five putting drills that can help you improve your speed control. These drills are easy to do and can be done by golfers of all skill levels.

The Importance of Speed Control

Before we dive into the drills, let’s talk about why speed control is so important in putting. The speed at which you hit the ball determines how far it will travel. If you hit the ball too hard, it will travel too far past the hole, and if you hit it too softly it won’t make it to the hole. 

On the other hand, if you putt the ball too hard the ball might go through the break and miss the hole. And if you putt the ball too softly it will break too much, and again miss the hole. Therefore, it’s essential to have good speed control to ensure that your ball ends up where you want it to, ultimately in the hole.

Top 5 Putting Drills for Speed Control

1. Ladder Drill

The ladder drill is a great way to improve your speed control. 

  • Choose a putt of at least 15-20 feet that is relatively straight. 
  • The setup is simple. Begin lining up tees starting at about 3-5 feet and going back in a straight line as far as you want. (I actually like to use one ball with this drill and fetch it out of the hole each time, this helps mentally and saves your back)
  • Then start with the closest tee and try to make each putt, going from the closest to the farthest. (you can also switch it up and go furthest to closest)

2. Safety Zone Drill

The safety zone drill helps you become comfortable hitting into the zone where you are giving yourself the best opportunity to make the putt. 

  • Decide where that zone is for you, then take an alignment stick and lay it down about 2/3 feet past the hole. 
  • Then hit putts from different distances and try to get them to stop in that zone.

To take the drill further, place two tees two feet on either side of the hole and one foot in front of the hole. Try to leave yourself within the margin of the alignment stick and tees.

You never want to be more than a foot short of the hole, you always want to try to give yourself a chance to make the putt, if it is short you will never make it.

3. The Two Putt Drill

This drill is purely aimed at helping you make a two-putt. This drill is great as a practice drill, or to help you get the speed of the greens right before your round.

  • Pick two holes between 30-40 feet apart. 
  • Take 3 to 5 balls and place them next to one of the hole
  • Putt all the balls to the other hole you have chosen
  • From there you need to make the next putt with each ball, if you miss you start again
  • Once you have completed the one hole you putt back to the hole you started at
  • And do the same thing

Two putting each ball into each hole means you have completed the challenge

This will ensure you have the speed of the greens right and gives you confidence knocking in the short putts.

4. Clock Drill

The clock drill helps you improve your speed control by hitting putts from different distances around a clock face. 

  • Place a tee in the ground 5-6 feet from the hole
  • Move clockwise around the hole place 4-8 tees around the hole evenly spaced
  • Try and make each putt in a row
  • If you miss you start again

Even though these are short putts, putting from different angles helps with speed control as you will need to hit the putts at certain speeds to get them in.

5. One-Handed Putting Drill

The one-handed putting drill helps you improve your feel for distance and touch by putting with only one hand on the club. Start with your dominant hand, then switch to your non-dominant hand.

Keep the putts within 10 feet depending on the speed of the greens, you still want to keep your posture and technique as correct as possible. When the putt becomes too long, putting with one hand can cause bad habits.

View from behind of putter and golf ball with flag in the distance.
Photo by Robert-Ruggiero on unsplash.

Practice Speed Control to Make More Putts

Improving your speed control is essential if you want to become a better putter. These five drills are easy to do and can be done by golfers of all skill levels. My two personal favorites are the ‘Two Putt and Clock Drill’. Remember, practice makes perfect! (Or at least makes fewer 3-putts.) So get out there and start practicing these drills today.


Written by TJ Biggs, The Saturday Golfer Logo