By Megan Padua
To sharpen your feel around the green, you need to learn to visualize a shot before you execute it. Since this skill requires practice, I ask my my students to do a drill called, "Rehearse and Recreate."
Start on a putting green to master the basic rolling motion, then move back to experiment with various short game shots. When selecting the type of shot to hit around the green, think of tossing it with your hand. Rolling the ball and keeping it low to the ground is easier than trying to throw the ball up high and make it stop by the hole.
Rehearse It: Take a ball in your trail hand and roll or toss it to the hole depending on the shot you've imagined. Notice how far you swing your arm back and through and observe the break on the green. For short game shots, picture the trajectory of the shot and the ratio of how far the ball flies to how much it rolls. As you begin to see the ball react to the surface of the green, you'll learn to see the shot vividly with your imagination.
Recreate It: Now that you have a picture in your mind, use a club to recreate the roll or toss that you just rehearsed. Have an idea of the shot that you'd like to hit, commit to it, and make it reality.