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Practice Chalk-Line Putting
by Darrell H. Knight

I use the following drill to improve my putting technique and confidence. All that's needed is a carpenter's chalk line in white or blue. I recommend not using red, because red chalk stains everything it contacts.

Find a 6- to 8-foot straight uphill putt on the practice green. I typically look for an area near the edge of the green so the line doesn't disturb anyone else. Make several putts to ensure there is no break in the putt. Then, snap the chalk line on the green along the intended line of putt.

Start about 2 feet from the hole, putting six to eight balls. When you make all these putts in a row, move farther back in 1-foot intervals and repeat the drill until you are consistently making a majority of the putts in the 5- to 6-foot range.

The chalk line gives a visual aid to help you align your feet and body square to the target line. It also allows you to be sure the putter face is square to the target and promotes the proper stroke path. Putting uphill encourages hitting short putts firmly into the cup, which reduces the chances of a weak putt breaking out of the hole. In addition, by practicing with six or eight balls from each location, the stroke becomes more automatic.

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