Are you looking for a new, exciting way to improve your short game that doesn't involve the same boring old practice routine that you've been doing for years? If so, look no further than your local putting green. Put simply, the shots you hit around the green are the most crucial part of your game and a skill that can always use more attention.
Short game drills don’t have to be dull and repetitive: there are fun games you can play on the putting green to sharpen your skills and increase your odds on the course. Here are five games you and your friends can try out the next time you hit the practice green!
#1. Coin Collecting
Coin Collecting is a great way to practice putting while being competitive with your friends. The game involves placing five to ten coins in various spots around the green. Each player takes a turn putting at the coins from a designated spot, and each successful shot removes that coin from play. The goal is to see who collects the most coins by the end of the game. The player with the most coins wins, and the winner gets to set the next course of putting coins. If you're feeling lucky, you might want throw a couple bucks down.
#2. Four-Ball Game
If you want to improve your putting consistency and accuracy under pressure, the Four-ball game is the go-to drill. The Four-ball game involves four golf balls that are placed at a designated distance surrounding a hole. After studying the green, each player takes a turn putting their four balls at the hole, restarting every time they miss. The first one to complete the round without a miss wins.
#3. Up and Down Game
The up-and-down game is a drill that simulates the pressure that comes with hitting from challenging lies. You and your friend take alternate shots from a designated place off the practice green at a set hole. The goal is to chip the ball close and make the following putt for an up-and-down. Keeping track of the number of strokes taken to achieve the objective will add a competitive and fun dimension to the game when you tally them up at the end for a total score. You can determine the winner by their overall score over a set number of holes, or the number of times they were able to get up and down.
#4. The Obstacle Course
This is a short game drill designed to test the precision of players. The obstacles, which could be a towel, a club, an umbrella, or any other item, are placed on the green in a haphazard manner. Players must hit their shots from a designated spot off the green while navigating the obstacles. If an obstacle is struck by a player’s ball, a one-stroke penalty is applied. The player with the least amount of strokes after a set number of holes is the winner. This exciting drill helps build focus and control.
#5. The Around the World
Saving the best for last; an all-time classic. This drill requires at least three holes positioned at various distances from your designated starting point. The goal is to "go around the world," in the least amount of putts. Each player goes from a starting point to hole one, then from there to hole two, and so on. Each player keeps track of their total score. The lowest score at the end wins. This game promotes accuracy, putting under pressure, and putting from long distances.
Head to Your Local Practice Green and Have Fun!
For many golfers, playing with friends is the most enjoyable aspect of the game. Adding these fun challenges to your golf group will bring more excitement to every round. Whether you’re playing for a round of drinks or to see who tees off first, these games are sure to improve your skills!