We might have snow on the ground but that does not mean you have to stop thinking about your golf game. A part of your game that you can always stay in touch with during the off-season is your putting stroke, which will give you a huge head start to better scores come spring.
One of the biggest inconsistencies I find with golfers on the putting green is their speed or distance control that results in many putts left short or racing by the hole. One of my favourite drills that can be done during the golf & off-season to improve your speed control so that all putts have a chance of going into the cup is called the Horizontal-Shaft Drill.
Depending on the length of the putt, the slope of the green, and the general conditions of grain, place a club shaft or alignment stick a foot to two feet behind the hole. You can do this on the practice green or on a carpet. Start off with a ten-foot putt, placing the shaft/alignment stick a foot behind the hole. I then I ask the student to strike numerous putts, say twenty. For each putt that goes in the hole, past the hole or hits the shaft on the ground, the player gets one point. With that in mind, you would think winning is automatic. The kicker is, for any putt left short, you lose five points. This really gets you to focus on distance control. Being short is not an option. By the way, if you hit a putt so hard that it jumps the shaft on the ground, you also lose five points. Therefore, you cannot blindly smash putts, either. Make this a game with your friends and family (vary the points, length of putt and rules if you wish) and your speed and distance control will improve greatly, thus making you a much more consistent putter and giving all of your putts a better chance of going in!
Have Fun, Matt Truong