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Rickie Fowler: Steal My Feel

Drill: Don't Hit Putts, Stroke Them

Rickie Fowler

MISS THE TEES: With a curved line of tees off the heel and a straight line off the toe, I can practice straightening out my stroke or adding more arc to it.

December 2012

It's always a mystery when putts stop dropping. When it happens, I remind myself to stroke the putt, not hit it. I know this sounds vague, but it's the clearest way I can think of to describe my feeling. I want to smoothly swing the putterhead instead of fixating on the moment it strikes the ball. When you get too tied up in the contact, you start to flinch.

Here's a drill I use: Off the putter's toe I set three tees in a straight line, and off the putter's heel I set three tees that allow for some inside-to-inside arc (above, inset). Sometimes I want to feel a more straight-back, straight-through stroke, and that's when I concentrate on the tees off the toe. If I want to add more arc to my stroke, I focus on the tees off the heel.

Either way, it's about the stroke, not the hit. Also, about 10 inches down the line, I set up two tees just wider than the ball as a gate to putt through.

Depending on how tight you set the tees, it can get pretty tough to avoid them all. But I guarantee you won't be thinking about hitting the ball.

FOWLER, a Golf Digest Playing Editor, won the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship.

Fowler's Favorite Cause: Rickie Fowler Foundation

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