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Develop a Solid Pre Round Putting Routine
Build Confidence on the Greens Before You Tee Off

Learn how to warm up properly on the practice green before you tee off.  Develop a Good Pre Round Routine

Whether you have played the game for a lifetime or are a newbie this year you have probably already figured how how important your pre round warm up and routine is to your score. A lot of my students admit now, that they don't take the time to warm up before the round and therefore accept that the first few holes serves as their practice/warm up. This is actually a very realistic and healthy attitude to take. You can't put pressure on yourself to perform on the first few holes if you don't even take the time to get to the course early to prepare your mind and body for the round.

You Won't Find Your Swing in 5 Minutes

While we would all love to have the time to go to both the driving range and the putting green, some of us live very busy lives and it's just not possible. With only 5-10 minutes to spare the putting green is where you should be. Most instructors will tell you that if your swing isn't there that day, you aren't going to find it in 5 minutes, but you should at least stretch out and take practice swings to warm up your body. If you don't visit the putting green however, you are not arming yourself with any information to help when you get on that first green. We all know what an opening 3 putt can do to your confidence and your nerves. Start off on the wrong foot here and you could really struggle for most of the round until you get control of your speed and touch.

A Poor Routine Can Sabotage Your Round

Even if you do take the time to visit the putting green, what you do while you are there can make or break your round. A poor routine can sabotage your confidence and ruin your day. A sensible routine on the other hand, can help you to start off with the confidence you need to drop putts left and right beginning with the first hole. Establishing a solid routine is simple by following these 3 steps:

  • Avoiding Misses - Avoid putts that will make you lose confidence; those putts in the 8-20 feet range for instance. They aren't all that long so you probably think you should make them. You really shouldn't however, when the PGA Tour players make on average only 50% from 6 feet. It's easy to put pressure on ourselves though and you don't want to do that right before a round. Playing skills games and putting pressure on yourself should be saved for practice sessions. Avoid also any slippery breaking putts for the same reason. Even if it's a short putt, seeing yourself miss continually on the practice green only breeds negative thoughts.
  • Making a Lot of Short Putts - Set yourself up on a nice short flat 3 foot putt and roll in 10-20 putts. The point here is to see the ball going in the hole over and over. Watching it drop and hearing that wonderful sound of the ball rolling around in the bottom of the cup does wonders for your confidence. This is a great opportunity to work on a square face and a nice path through impact.
  • Fringe Putting - Because we want to avoid that awkward length that you can miss your time should be spent on short putts as I stated earlier, but you also need to find out the speed of the greens before you tee off. To avoid the pressure of having to make putts, simply putt your ball across the green to the fringe. This way you don't see yourself miss anything. Putt long uphill, sidehill and downhill putts so that you are prepared for anything by time you get to the first green.

Adopting this routine not only helps you warm up your stroke, but also as I stated is great for your confidence. By time you get to the first hole you know the speed of the greens and you have made every putt you have looked at so far. What more could you ask for to be prepared for your round on the green?

The Situation:

You are trying to figure out how to properly warm up for putting before you tee off.

The Solution:

When you only have a few minutes to warm up before a round be sure to use them on the putting green as opposed to the driving range. Start off by making a bunch of short flat 3 footers that you can't miss. Train your brain to see the ball drop repeatedly in the cup and build your confidence. Avoid awkward length putts that you will miss such as 8-20 footers and putts with a severe break. Next, do some fringe putting working on getting a feel for the speed of the greens by putting across the green to the fringe. Work on uphill, sidehill and downhill putts to cover all your bases before you tee off. Don't putt to a hole and putt pressure on yourself to make long putts simply put all of your focus on the speed.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
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