Where I play golf, the game is about making birdies, and that means making putts. I've worked hard on my putting this year, practicing at home with my teacher, Rafael Alarcon, and on tour every chance I get. As a result, I'm much more confident under pressure. The drills below are great practice. They teach me not to move or peek -- two faults that get worse when the heat is on. I also work on sticking to a routine so when I need to make a big putt, I can just focus on holing it. Start with these drills for pressure putting.
1.) HEAD STILL
To keep the putter on path throughout the stroke, you should hold your head still. Rafael braces my head while I swing my arms and the putter back and through freely. Once I've made contact, I look at the spot where the ball was for a count of two. It seems like an eternity, but a steady head is a big key for me.
2.) EYES CLOSED
After I line up, Rafael blocks my view of the ball with his hand. This encourages me to really feel the movement of my arms: The slower they move, the more consistent I putt. Plus, it's a good exercise for learning distance control. You can do it yourself by closing your eyes just before you start the stroke.
3.) LEGS LOCKED
This drill helps keep my lower body in place during the stroke. I take my normal stance, then wedge a rubber ball between my knees. I squeeze the ball a little to keep it tight and to create a solid foundation. Hitting putts this way helps me develop the feeling of stability that is essential for a consistent stroke.