Game Improvement with Darryl Hearsch: Jordan Spieth’s Alternate Speed Putting Drill & More

Leading senior amateur golfer Darryl Hearsch suggests some games and drills for the practice fairway and putting green that that may spur your interest and help get your game up to scratch. The first drill is one favoured by young putting ace (usually) Jordan Spieth.

Jordan Spieth’s Alternate Speed Putting Drill

This game works on getting your putts past the hole and therefore giving them a chance of being holed. Start with two holes approximately 40 feet apart. Place a club 3 foot past the back edge of hole of each hole. This is your safety zone in which all your putts should finish in unless you have holed the putt. Pick one of these holes and start 10 foot out from the hole. Putt 3 balls to the 10 foot pin. If all 3 balls finish in the 3 foot safety zone on the 10 foot putt then putt the next 3 balls to the 30 foot pin. If not go back and start again. Again all 3 balls need to finish in the safety zone. If successful move your starting point to now be 3 foot closer to the 30 foot pin. Now putt 3 balls to the 13 foot pin and if successful put all 3 balls to the 27 foot pin. The game continues until you reach 10 foot distance on the original 30 foot putt. The focus here other than sinking as many putts as possible, is giving all putts a chance of going in by being up to the hole.

Jordan Spieth honing his putting on a practice green at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

Big Foot Putting

In this game the focus is on speed control and alignment. Take 20 balls and run them out in a line a foot apart. Ie 2’, 3’ etc. Mark each distance with a coin or tee. The goal is to see how many putts you can make. If you can make all 20 putts, that’s 210 feet of putts, hence the game is called big foot. Try and better your best results every time you do this game.
Triple chipping game
This is a distance control game for your chipping. Do this from the fringe of the green to a pin that is 20 to 30 feet away from the fringe. Use three targets that are set up between you and your target. Mark with tees or markers or cones. Use three different chipping clubs and with each club chip the ball to your interim targets. This is an ideal way to practice your landing spot and to watch the trajectory of each club and see how far the ball roils out when you hit it.

Imaginary fairway game

In this game you need your driver and a selection of irons/other clubs. Look out onto the practice fairway and pick two targets that are about 35 metres apart. This is your imaginary fairway for your driver. You only hit 10 drives in this game. Ball 1 with driver, if it stays in the fairway take 2 points. If it missed the fairway by less than 10m take 1 point. If it missed by more than 10m from the fairway subtract 2 points. For the next shot, hit any of your other clubs. Eg 7 iron. Continue the game with your driver again allocating points for hitting/missing the fairway. Next shot hit another iron. Continue until you have hit 10 drivers and 10 other clubs and record your score for the 10 drives. Try to better your best when next hitting your driver at the range. By playing a driver then an iron each time you are simulating a game of golf. You may even play the game as if at your own course. i.e. Driver off the first hole then gap wedge from 80m. 2nd hole Driver then fairway wood etc.

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