The 20-putt routine that Tiger Woods does 'incessantly' before rounds

February 14, 2024

Practically everything about Tiger Woods has changed since he first arrived on tour in 1996. But his putting, for the most part, has stayed relatively similar.

Yes, there have been changes. But Tiger has won 14 of his 15 majors with the same Scotty Cameron putter, and while his golf swing has undergone multiple overhauls in recent years, his feel-based putting approach has stayed largely the same.

The interesting thing about Tiger's putting stroke is that it's not perfect—as Charlie Woods revealed himself late last year. But Tiger is such an astonishingly good putter because his stroke is repeatable. He does it the same way every time.

And that's thanks to one drill.

Tiger's go-to putting drill

When the wall-to-wall coverage pans to Tiger Woods on the practice putting green at this week's The Genesis Invitational, there's a good chance you'll find Tiger drilling putt after putt with a tee outside the heel and toe of the putterhead. It's called the gate drill, and it's been a go-to of his for years.

Why? He explained in his My Game Putting episode shot back in 2018 (which you can watch right here).

"I do it incessantly before every round. I do it at home, I do it everywhere. I did this for hours as a kid," he says. "How it gets there it doesn't matter. I can take it inside, I can take it way outside and loop it back. But with the tees there. I have to hit the ball flush, and present a square face at impact."

Tiger says he hits "at least" 20 or 30 putts through the gate, which sits about four feet away, with just his right hand. That helps him feel the putterhead release.

Once he does that, he'll try to replicate the feeling with both hands for another 20 or 30 putts, before practicing some longer, lag putting.

It's something the rest of us should do, too. Swing the putter through the gates, and you'll groove more consistent contact. A key tenet of good putting, and why you see Tiger doing it all the time.

Again, you can watch the full episode right here.