One of Jessica Korda’s favorite putting drills will help you start every putt on line

January 12, 2024

Stacy Revere

It doesn’t matter if your speed is perfect, or if you got the read just right: The ball has to start on line to make it into the cup. Pros know this. That’s why one of Jessica Korda’s favorite putting drills uses a few tees and a string line to make sure the ball is rolling end over end, straight down the target line.

“This is a great one stop shop for putting practice,” says Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Erika Larkin. “She’s got a gate around her putter for alignment and path, she has a ball gate out ahead of the ball to work on start line, which helps to check that you got the face square and that you hit the center of the face.”

Your goal with these gates is to make a stroke without your putter hitting the tees, and without your ball hitting them either. With only a few strokes, you’ll be able to notice if you actually bring the putter back and through on a straight line. And you’ll see the effect that has on how the ball rolls.

“You can change the width of the gates to make it easier or harder,” Larkin says. The wider the gates, the easier the drill is.

“Lastly, there’s an elevated string line running on top of the ball over the target line that creates a great visual for the ball starting on line, but it also helps check eye alignment, and is a visual for swing path,” Larkin says. “You’re basically accountable for every single element of your putting stroke, strike, and how it’s rolling off the face. If you can master hitting some balls in the hole with this whole setup, you’re really square with your stroke, your face and your contact.”

If you want to try this drill, Larkin says to start with a straight putt that’s between 5-10 feet. As you gain confidence, make the putt longer and then start adding break. When you’re setting the drill up, start with the stringline. Once that’s on the correct line, you can set up the gates with your tees in line with the stringline.