Skills & Drills....

Evenin’ guys,
After reading Alec’s post, where he outlined two of his favorite putting drills I thought it might be fun to have a thread where we could share any drills/games etc…that we use to practice chipping, putting, accuracy, trajectory/distance control etc…

I’ll share one that morphed out of an exercise I developed to sharpen my ability to quickly and accurately cast a fly with a flyrod to a target at a very specific distance. The type of saltwater flyfishing we do down here requires extreme distance and accuracy control…very much like golf. The flycasting exercise was originally outlined here: As an aside the Sexyloops website is ALOT like the flycasting brother to ABS, very much focused on the artistic and technical skill involved in casting a flyrod. ANYHOOOO…here is the drill:

You’ll need some “hoops”, like a hula hoop. I made mine out of some 1" black tubing I got at Home Depot…it’s more flexible than PVC, and can be bent easily into a 3’-4’ diameter circle. Fasten the two ends together with a coupler and voila…hula hoop. I spiraled some orange electrical tape around mine so I can see them better in the grass. If you like, you can get some little flags (also sold at Home Depot for marking property lines, survey stakes etc…) to make the game a tad more golf like.

Spread the hoops out in your yard at varying distances apart from one another. Drop three balls down next to hoop 1 and chip them into hoop 2. Don’t worry if they bounce out, that’s not the point, the point is for the ball to initially land in the hoop. Then move to hoop 2 and chip the three balls into hoop 3. Move to hoop 3 and chip them to hoop 4. You don’t necessarily have to go in order,you could go 1->3, 3->2, 2->4, 4->1 etc…the gaol is to develop acute distance control and accuracy. Do the drill with different clubs, 8 iron for bump and run, Lob Wedge for flop shots, but the goal is the same…be able to land the ball in a specific spot from varying distances. The quicker and more frequently you can land them in the hoops, the better. You can even lay two hoops 2 or 3 feet apart and practice real short chips.

Now days when I get out on the course and I need to play a shot around the green, I just visualize a black and orange hoop where I want to land the ball.

Hope this helps some of you guys, and I am looking forward to hearing what y’all are doing.

Best Regards,


Probably a little harder to get away with today…but we used to hit pitch shots from inside the pro shop out the door and to the putting green 25-35 yards away (3 or 4 of us would play when hanging around the shop)…in the absolute pouring rain… farthest away has to run out and pick them up…then do it again and again and again…great practice to learn to hit good shots and stay dry :laughing: … kids will be kids

That’s neat Two…we still do a variation of that at the range on rainy days…but we don’t have a green. I’ve been tempted at times to try a full nuke 4 iron out the door- there is proper clearance and the obstacles outside seem to be out of the way in terms of trajectory of the shot…but still a little timid to try. Maybe one day

But the topic is right up my alley as I am stuck at a range for 6-7 months a year so I do a lot of different things to keep things fresh. I’ll get to those shorty, but Aldear’s comments about his backyard brought me back to my days in the backyard and how I did things. At one time, I would have put my short game up against anyone’s…no problem. In fact, I would get “recruited” for some big money scrambles and they would tell me…“Range just leave your long clubs home, and just fill your bag up with wedges” I was the short game guy :laughing:

My backyard as a young rat was about 66x100 feet I think, maybe just a smidge larger. In the backyard I had lots of fun because I couldn’t afford to get out and play much, or even get out to pay for range balls: too many bills and not enough money. I would chip underneath the picnic table, flop one over it, flop one over the 18’ foot round pool and land the ball within a very tight area between the pool and my garage. I would also hit SW over the garage and land the ball in my neighbors yard into a tight area just missing his pool. He didn’t mind as he was a golfer also. I would hit punches into the fence, and there was this one area behind the garage and fence behind it, which is difficult to describe, but it was like a chute. You had to thread the needle with a little authority in order to stay in the chute, but at the same time get it to carry the sandbox. It was almost like a punch/cut action within the chute. Hell, if there was a shot, or an opportunity for a shot out in my backyard, I found it and did it.

Those were back in the day when I actually used a wood wood. I would take a wiffle ball and stuff some stuff inside it for more weight, but not much, and slam that thing with full action into the side of the house- which was vinyl sided. The neighbors always knew when I was out doing my thing with that wiffle ball…pop…pop…pop pop off the house. Man those were fun times spending hours in the backyard experimenting away.

I’ll get to some range stuff I do later. :slight_smile:

I don’t know if y’all have heard this story or not, but I have recently been reading Byron Nelson’s book Shape Your Swing The Modern Way and he tells of exactly how Hogan developed such an evil hook. He said that when they were Caddies at Glen Garden Country Club that during the week, there would be a lot of downtime between clients because not a lot of people had money to play golf in those days. So all the kids who were caddies would play driving range games to kill time between clients. They would have distance driving competitions, and the loser would have to pick up all the golf balls by hand…no carts in those days. Ben being the shortest and smallest of all the kids almost always lost and usually had to pick up all the balls. So, he figured out that if he hooked the ball he could out drive everyone because the ball would roll a really long way on the baked Texas hardpan…thus the Hogan hooking problem!


That’s how my dad is…practices his wedge game constantly at the local park, and he is just relentless with a sand wedge from 50 yards and in…it’s like he has a rifle scope on that thing. He is the shortgame guy in their group as well.


I’m just a hacker so the video below is about as complicated as it gets for me, hitting a 5-iron chip shot into a home-made net between a couple of trees. Took this video the other day. I shank these shots occasionally so if anybody sees some things that aren’t right feel free to PM me! :slight_smile:

One of the things I do at the range is pole practice.

One area of the range is protected by netting and large poles. The span is large, so there are 9 poles. Depending on your position, the yardage ranges from about 180 yards to 235 yards. I number the poles from left to right and just go down the line trying to hit each pole in succession without bouncing it in there. Best I ever did was 2 poles in a row. But I’ve hit them all in one day many times, but I should have kept track on how many balls it took to do it.

I’ll have to keep track of that this year and see how many balls it takes to hit them all. :slight_smile:

RR wrote

This reminds me of my childhood…we’d play “around the house golf”…I’m sure many folks did. Grass, dirt, asphalt all came into play. A tree trunk would be the hole.

My “first traing aid” was something my dad got me…can’t remember who made it, but it was a white plastic ball attached to a piece of wood by a strip of plastic, the wood had 2 nails to hold it into the ground. You could hit it a million times. I loved it…would use it for hours with my Spalding Yougstar driver. In retrospect…I think it was very good for gaining spatial awareness and reducing fat/ thin shots that plague new golfers. I guess it created what some would call an addiction. But a positive one.

I haven’t seen anytthing like it…but would like another one. I want to say Wham-O made it, but I do not see it on their website. Does anyone else remember this device?

I don’t recall the name of the product you mentioned Eagle, but I had one that was maybe similar. It was a real golfball which was attached to some kind of “bungy” cord thing. One would push the stake into the ground, hit the ball and it would come back to you—or at least that was the principle I think.

Nearly killed me one day. Those things were dangerous! I can’t remember what that was called either, but it seems I had that about 30 years ago. I hit it a few times and threw the damn thing away. :laughing:

That one was not it RR. I had it also, and similar to you, did not like it.

The one I am speaking of that I did like had only a partial ball, it was hollow so no harsh impact. It was attached to a solid flexible piece of plastic that was about 12 inches long, maybe one inch wide. It slipped into a narrow slot on th piece of wood, perpendicularly, that is, the wooden portion was parallel to the target line.

For working on wedge shots around the green with my 58*, I fire at the flags themselves as targets (my shortgame area has full size flag poles in each hole). It makes for a great trajectory control game, but people sure look at you funny when they see you firing shots at flags…Also makes it fun to have the flagstick be a penalty. Sometimes, I’ll play a game if I can find someone willing to put a little something on the line where hitting the flag is 1 point and the flagstick is -2 points playing to 5 rotating between 4 flags.

Pretty basic one for me; ladders, take about 5 clubs, and lie them horizontally about 6ft/2paces apart.
take 20 balls - from bout 20yrds out from first step start climbing up n down ladder, go collect balls, then swap club you’ve just used,for one of the ladder clubs, and repeat until all clubs have been used. I like this one when short game area is busy it only takes a short strip of grass to play…

Here’s one from the rat’s nest. Speaks to down pressuring the shaft with weight…strong hands…maintaing shaft pressure and foot pressure on the right side.

I do this on occasion just for fun…but reinforces some things along the way. May be a little hard to descibe but here goes.

Get on some real tight indoor/outdoor capeting with a ball and an iron. I usually use a 7 iron, but any iron less lofted than that will work too.

Snug the leading edge up underneath the ball…all the way under until the face is in contact with the ball. From there, try to accelerate the ball into a target that’s about 10 feet in front of you and about 4 feet high. One could attach a hula-hoop from the ceiling and have it hang wherin the center of the hoop is 4 feet off the ground…and about 10 feet or more in front of you as a visual reference for clarity

If not accelerated properly the ball will just dribble away. To get that ball to react the correct way one has to really down weight the shaft with pressure into the tight carpet and maintain it all the while staying on the right foot. Get to the left side too quickly and…oops! :laughing:

likin the sound of that mr rat. im only on mod2, but like ideas i can use in my garage where i cant take a full swing. do u think off a lie board would work?
Any technique I should keep in mind?

This is not something that replaces modules by any means. It’s just something I personally like to do at times to reinforce pressuring a ball off a surface…you can’t do it if you flip it with soft hands and lose shaft pressure- especially with any kind of authority. The thing is it teaches you…there is really only one way to do it. You’ll have to try it to see and feel it.

Haven’t done it on a lie board before on top of cement. I do this on the pro-shop carpet sometimes on rainy days and accelerate balls into the ball hopper. It’s either that or clean the bathrooms :laughing: Maybe a lie board would work on cement if it sits flush without any need to pressure it down too…but not sure. Perhaps if there is play between the board and cement the restoring bounce of the lie board after pressuring it down would somehow alter the ball/face interplay making the flight erratic.

Maybe off cement directly would be better with a bargain basement club. I haven’t done it directly off cement, but as I am typing this I can’t imagine it being any different than off tight carpet upon cement- like one would see at a putt-putt facility.

It’s almost like bending the shaft backwards in a door jamb in order to apply pressure.

Stick with the modules for sure…from what I have seen of them they are solid and the way to go. This little drill is just a very small subset of one of those concepts. :slight_smile:

Its hosing it down here today, so will get into garage and give it a try. Got cement, fine carpet, auld club, hula hoop, kettle n coffee.
Mrs will be fine about it. the bathroom is spotless.

Cheers, will let ya know how I go!