Darrell Klassen Inner Circle

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1 Darrell Klassen Inner Circle PUTTING SPECIAL REPORT #3 DRILLS I hope you are getting as much enjoyment out of all of this as I am. I have been teaching for over forty-five years, and I naturally stand and do this without even thinking about it. I see a golfer take his/her grip on the club and take a practice swing putting stroke, chipping stroke, or a full golf swing and I almost immediately know why they are having problems with their golf. It is all second nature to me and I don t even have to think about it. Then I sit here and attempt to put it into words and I have to think about the things I take for granted. I have to try to analyze what it is that I see when I watch a golfer do any of these things. That to me is almost like you standing over your golf shot and then starting the thought process. It is not a good thing to do. It is way easier to watch you swing, watch your golf ball, and then make as evaluation and assessment of the whole process. Sitting her at my computer and trying to think about how I teach is a whole different thing. It really makes me think. And I like it. There is yet another putting drill I like. Putting Video #5: Guessing Your Distances On this drill I like to gather several golf balls and take them to a given spot or any given distance from the cup. Then I read the putt and take a run at making it. I watch the golf ball very closely, and I try to relate to what I felt in the putt. Then I like to take the next ball and do the same thing. There is only one difference. On this putt I once again look away from the cup when I complete the stroke. So it s Putt and Look Away... But there is the catch to this one. This time I do not allow myself to look where the putt stopped until I try to guess exactly where that golf ball stopped. Darrell Klassen Inner Circle pg 1

2 Putt... Look Away & Guess... For example, I will make the stroke and then immediately look away. Then I will think about what I felt and what I thought about the putt. Then I will say, or think, something like this, That ball should be two inches to the right of the cup and three inches short of the cup. Once I have made my guess, then, and only then, I allow myself to look to see where the ball stopped rolling. This will build some TREMENDOUS feel for your putts. My theory is if I can feel where the stroke rolled the ball, then I had marvelous feel before and during the stroke. I don t know if that makes sense to you, but it really helps me a bunch. I might do this drill at ten feet, and then after doing that for five or six balls I will go to twenty-five feet. The next run through the drill might be at fifteen feet, or even at thirty feet. I like to move it all over the place with balls rolling uphill and downhill. I like to do breaking putts from fifteen or twenty feet. This drill is just plain old fun!! Tip: How Distance Relates to Breaking Putts I haven t talked about it anywhere in the putting, and I should have spoken of it in the distance drill we did in the long ling drill, but I want to mention something about how distance relates to breaking putts. When we have a breaking putt I like to see the very front of the cup as the front door of the hole. I see it as the entry point to the cup. I know this sounds like it is all too elementary and simple, but I see a lot of golfers who miss this point in their thinking. The front door to the cup is the point at which the golf ball would drop into the cup if it were traveling directly into the heart of the cup. This means that if I am putting on a green where the golf ball will break three feet from only fifteen feet away, the FRONT DOOR might actually be at a point which is forty-five degrees off of center on a direct line between the ball and the hole. Darrell Klassen Inner Circle pg 2

3 I hope that made sense to you. I had a putt one time which I will never forget. I was playing with a buddy of mine and I had hit my second shot on a par-4 hole to within ten feet of the cup. I had never seen a cup cut like this one before, and I have never seen one cut like this since and I hope I NEVER see another one cut this way. I was ten feet from the cup and exactly pin high. If you were not there that would all so sound simple, but it was definitely FAR FROM THAT. The cup was cut just a few inches up from the bottom of a severe slope which separated the two levels of the green, and the second level was nearly two feet higher than the front level. The slope between the two took at least ten to fifteen feet of putting surface, and I literally had to turn my butt and back to the cup in order to stroke my putt almost all the way to the top of that slope. The ball then slowly rolled over to the left and began to trickle its way back down toward the cup. This was a strange putt to say the least. Actually it was only brought about because the cup was cut where it should never have been cut. I think this cup setter must have had a bad night at home, or else the greens superintendant and he had just had a terrible misunderstanding. This was a terrible place to cut a hole on the green. It should have been ruled as illegal or inappropriate. Nonetheless, I had the putt to negotiate, and my ball was on the way back down the slope slowly trickling its way toward the cup. This is the God s honest truth, and this was for a birdie, too. The golf ball kept slowly trickling down the slope and dropped dead into the heart of the cup. It had to be the luckiest putt I have ever made. The reason I shore this story with you is to try to help you to see that the actual front door of that putt was literally ninety degrees to the right of the middle (if it had been a straight away putt). Here is the importance, and this is why that was such a lucky putt. The cup on the green in golf is four and a quarter inch in diameter. That means the fifteen foot putt which I made that day, while it travelled almost a total of thirty feet up and then back down the slope, ONLY HAD A FOUR AND A QUARTER INCH MARGIN FOR ERROR IN DISTANCE. I had to make that putt literally turn the corner and start it trickling in a path which was only four and a quarter inches wide. Therefore my distance control was critical. Yes, I did have to also have the proper line, but if I had selected the correct line and not had that golf ball in that four and a half inch window, I would not have made the putt. The drill we are doing in this section is to not only help you learn to feel the direction, but when you can guess where your ball stops rolling within just a few inches you will have also learned to feel your distances. This is so critical in putting. Darrell Klassen Inner Circle pg 3

4 I hope you enjoy these drills as much as I do. I still do them from time to time. I only say it that way because I am sixty-five years old now, and I do not play competitively at all. In fact, I hardly ever play at all anymore. Therefore, I also do not practice any longer. However, when I take a student to the putting green for instruction I still do these drills, and they are still marvelous fun to me. When you do all of the putting drills you are ready to see your scores lower. Putting Video #6: The Scoring Game This is the final drill I like to do around the putting green, and it is the best one of all. I say that because this one is just like actually playing a full round of golf in less than thirty minutes. How would you like to do that? This is a very simple drill and I got it from my oldest son. When he was three years old he would beg to go to work with me, so one day I took him with me to the course. In the mid morning I took a few minutes to go to the putting green, so he naturally tagged along to watch. That day I did not miss even one putt, because every time I would miss the cup with a putt he would pick up the golf ball and place it into the hole. Then he would raise up and begin to clap and dance. To this day I do not know whether he was receiving this thrill because I had made the putt or if it was because he had made the putt. Nevertheless, he was one happy little boy. After I had putted for a bit I placed a golf ball about two inches from the cup and let him tuck my putter under his arm so he could make a stroke. He hauled back and knocked the ball about forty feet across the practice putting green. To make a long story short, he putted until his fifth birthday. On that day I gave him a sand wedge which I had made for him, and on that day I taught him how to put backspin on the ball. He now knew how to chip, and he knew how to putt. About a year or so later I looked out of the pro shop window and saw him pitching some balls over a small tree and over a practice sand bunker onto the green. When he had pitched three or four balls up there I saw him walk up and stroke each of the balls into the cup. Curious about all of this, I went out and asked what he was doing. I m playing the US Open, he announced to me. This bill is Jack Nichlaus. This one is Lee Trevino and this one is Gary Player. They are playing the US Open, and Jack Nichlaus is winning. He is five under par and Gary Player and Lee Trevino are each three under par. I soon learned par for the shot was three, and he had played several imaginary holes. This gave me a great idea for my students. I would have them start practicing what my son had taught me. It became a perfect practice drill for learning how to score. The more I Darrell Klassen Inner Circle pg 4

5 practiced it the better I became, and the more my students would work at it, the better golfers they became. What a marvelous little drill, and it all came from a little six year old boy who simply wanted with all his heart to play golf. That is exactly what this drill is, too. It is just like actually playing a real game of golf. Once you start doing this drill you will become hooked on it. I used to like to make my par two for each golf ball, and over time I would work all the way out to about fifty yards from the green. If I had ten golf balls my par was twenty. I did not keep score for each individual golf ball. I simply kept the total score for the drill. This allowed me to not get every ball up and down and still shoot a par round. All I had to do was to chip as many ball into the cup as I didn t get up and down. When you practice this drill use all of the clubs we have been practicing. Use your eight-iron and do some bump and run shots. Do the same with your pitching wedge. Then hit some balls over a bunker with your sand wedge and see how you do with those. I like to see friends and family have contests with this drill. Anyone can do it. It is just as fair for youngsters as it is for adults, and it is just as fair for ladies and girls as it is for the boys and the men. All of the shots are short ones, so everyone can do them. You will have a boat load of fun with it, and it will do wonders for your golf game. How Are You Going? Drop me an at and let me know how you are doing with these drills. I want to hear about your progress. Talk soon. Darrell. Darrell Klassen Inner Circle pg 5

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