Tip Tuesday: Scoring Series Part 1 – Master Your Putting from Inside 10 Feet

In the first of a four-part series on short game improvement, Ted Frick of the Classic Swing Golf School at Legends Golf Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. is here to show you an inexpensive but highly effective putting drill you can practice that will improve your game on the greens!




Ted Frick:
All right, so the 2024 campaign here at Classic Swing is going to be involved with the teacher’s favorite scoring or short game drill or exercise that he or she likes to lean on when they’re getting ready for a little tournament. It could be a friendly competition with friends and family, or it could be just flat out just getting ready for a tournament.

So I’m going to start out with my favorite inside-of-10-feet putting drill, and you’re going to see there’s a lot going on here. It’s a very inexpensive drill, but very effective. I’ll talk about all these pieces in a moment. Stefany’s going to do more of a 30- to 50-yard shot. Eddie’s going to come on, he’s going to do his chipping and I believe he’s going to be going to putt out, but it’s a scattered scoring approach inside of 20 yards of the green. And then CJ, our newcomer, he’s going to take you into the bunker and show you how he does drills using tees in the bunker.

So let me get started with my favorite putting exercise. All right? Now I like to call this “pick your poison” because there’s a lot that’s going on here, but what I want to share with you is the concept. So dollars and cents. I’ve got two number two pencils here with about 15 foot of string that I’ve wrapped around the pencil with some duct tape. I might have 15 cents in that training aid right here. I’ve got two tees to mark this where I’m going to start.

I’ve got a penny right by the hole. And then I’m going to take one of these other tees after I describe them and talk to you about the apex. So here’s the concept. In putting, you’re going to find out there’s one of three ways to approach these putts inside of 10 feet. You can either be what’s called aim point. With aim point, you are seeing your putt on a straight line. And there’s a lot of wonderful aim point information out there, so I’m not going down that page. But for those that like to see their putt on a straight line, they would say it’s easier to putt a ball on a straight line than a curve line. They’re going to pick a point beyond the hole somewhere between 12 to 17 inches. I love this drill. I use it, but I also mix it up with what is called the entry point.

Now, the entry point is how I talk to a lot of my players inside of 10 feet. That’s where this tee is, excuse me, the penny. So I’m using a clock method up in here and what it is this tee right here on the clock would be six o’clock. Therefore, this tee represents 12. This is three and this is nine. Now I’m going to go ahead and remove those tees there. But this is the clock method. This is for the entry point players, and I love this school too. Because I can remember back in my heydays when I was really grinding and I  got a hold of Dr. Bob Rotella’s Putting Out Of Your Mind series audio, and I’ll never forget, he said inside of six feet, he said, “Aim small, miss small.” He said, “Pick out a blade of grass on the hole that you want that to roll the ball over and be captivated by that in your mind’s eye.”

So when you’re setting up, just stroke and be thinking about that blade of grass. That’s that aim small, miss small, but that’s also the entry point. So as I described this putt, I’m going to lay down one more piece. This is for my apex putters, and I’m going to describe this too, because the apex person, they’re going to see a curve line, and then what they do is they really try to find a spot that’s going to be their apex that they have to roll the ball over. So the apex putters, they pretty much divide their line, a 10-foot line. They’ll find the halfway mark and they want to make sure that they’re rolling the ball over the halfway mark. That’s where this tee is. It’s not for me to roll over, it’s for me to avoid. All right, so here’s what’s going to go on here.

I had to read this putt. The one thing I might as well share with y’all up north that you’re watching this, when I did read this putt breaking from my right to the left, we here in the south, remember, we got to consider green. I think well over 90 percent of our greens down here are Bermuda grass or hybrid of Bermuda. So please remember when you come down here that you’ve got to look at the side of the hole that’s bruised or browned out. So when we look down into the lip here, there’s no doubt that this side of my cup is bruised. All right, so I’m going to follow on this putt here. Dave Pelz’ 17-inch rule.

Now the aim point boys, they use 12, but 12 to 17 inches is my aim point spot, my straight line. I’m going to use five o’clock. So if I was talking to one of my players, I said, “Explain to me exactly where this ball’s going to enter the hole. Where’s that blade of grass?” This penny is on five o’clock. And then here’s the apex. Because obviously if I hit that tee, that ball’s not going in the hole. All right, so I’m going to go ahead and stroke it. Now I got my focus on my string line. That’s my aim line. I clearly see the penny setting up for my entry point at five o’clock.

All right? All right. So I hope that some of these techniques, concepts, and I’m telling you’re going back to dollars and cents, between the tee’s and the penny. I don’t have 25 cents wrapped up in my favorite inside of 10 feet when I have a chance of making a putt. So for what it’s worth, this is what I like to go to when it’s time for me to compete.