Do focus on drills that sharpen your aim. Grip-Aim-Setup (GAS) are the three pre-shot checkpoints for a sound swing. Use the sticks to ensure you are properly aligned on every shot and you can focus your attention on other mechanical improvements. The Alignment drill is excellent.
Do use the Landing Point drill to sharpen your chipping and pitching. This works great to help you dial in on a spot where you’d like your short shot to land and then run out.
Do keep two sticks in your bag the day you play. To start your putting warm-up, frame a hole and hit just 10 4-footers and enjoy the confidence boost.
Don’tfocus on drills where the stick can touch your body (Spin Out). I’m a feel player and I prefer to focus on feeling the correct movement and not on a foreign object touching me during my swing. Definitely a distraction to be avoided.
Don’t focus on drills where you may hit the stick with a club (Bunker Entry). Focus on a spot to hit, not to avoid hitting. Can also be dangerous if you hit the stick and it pops up.
Don’t rely heavily on the Alignment drill while warming up for a round. Use this only to work on mechanical changes during practice. Before play, it’s a good idea to change targets on every shot to get your mind into game mode.
And finally, no need to purchase the actual Tour Sticks for $14.95 + shipping. You’re just paying extra money for more color choices.
Something wonderful happened the other day during my putting practice and I’m still trying to figure it out. I was at the tail end of a short game session and had decided to leave putting for last. I putted nine holes on the practice green with unspectacular results and prepared to finish up with a series of 3-footers. For some reason I decided to build a small channel with two alignment sticks around my 3-foot putt. Immediately I starting rolling each putt through the channel with precision and confidence. The ball was coming off the putter perfectly and banging into the back of the cup. I hit about 15 straight in this fashion. Then I backed up to about seven feet and left my alignment channel framing the hole. Again, stroking the ball perfectly, I banged in about nine in a row. I backed up to about 12 feet and hammered another eight straight into the cup. It was if Phil Mickelson had taken over my body.
I have never putted with an alignment aid like a chalk line or between 2×4 boards, but something about those sticks framing the putt had me rolling it pure. I have always been conscious of squaring my putter face and alignment especially over the shorties and maybe the sticks freed my mind to produce a tension free stroke. I’ve also been leery of practicing with artificial aids and have attempted to simulate game conditions at every opportunity, but there has to be some value in this drill. At least there was a helluva lot of enjoyment 🙂 I’m going to continue with this drill with the hope that I can groove a better stroke and at the same time, not become too dependent on the sticks. Please send me your thoughts on this and if anyone has experienced something similar. Thanks!
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