Putting Lesson: Gate Drill

By Nick Anson
August 13, 2015


Making putts with break in them requires more precision, and knowing where the ball will enter the cup is a big factor in understanding the path of the ball.  In this segment of On the Lesson Tee, Todd Kolb is back again to show us how using a couple of tees with his Gate Drill can help us train our eyes to see what he calls the “true center” of the cup.

I’m PGA Professional Todd Kolb with another segment of On the Lesson Tee, and today we’re talking about making putts that have a lot of break to them.  And we know—lots of times on the putting green—we like to practice straight putts, but the reality of it is that when we get on the golf course, very seldom do we actually have a putt that’s perfectly straight.

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4 balls representing the path of a putt with break in it, with the last ball “entering” the cup on the right side.

So let’s talk a little bit about that; how we can navigate that and see that ball go into the hole more often.  So what I’ve got here is about a 15 foot putt that has a lot of break to it.  Now what I mostly see amateur golfers do is they’ll set up to the putt and they’ll draw a straight line—visually, with their eyes—from the ball on a straight line to the cup.

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Visualizing a putt with break to it with 4 balls

Now the reality of it is that the ball’s not going to roll on a straight line, and we’ve kind of demonstrated that here visually by putting down four different golf balls, where we actually see the ball and the angle that it’s going to arc into it.  So what we like to call this is we call it trying to find the true center of the cup.

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The Gate Drill helps you find the “true center” of the cup on putts.

So we do a simple drill, called the “Gate Drill.”  We take a couple tees, we put them down, and we angle them so that they’re actually centered with where the ball’s going to be entering the cup from the angle that it’s arcing into the hole.  So if we want to make more putts, you have to visually see where the ball’s going to actually enter the cup; this Gate Drill is a wonderful way for you to practice that.

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