Putting drills with mini cups

It’s been a while that I recommended something as practice drill or advised someone how to improve. Mostly because I find little time to practice myself, but today I have to tell you this:

Yesterday I played a tournament at Licher Golf Club. It’s an excellent course with great training facilities. What they do have as well is a large part of the putting green equipped with mini cups. What that means, you are not putting towards a normal-sized 4.25 inch hole but towards a much smaller target. The ball just barely fits into the cup as you see in this picture.

You will know from your own putting practice, you assess the break, imagine the speed and then align maybe like:

  • “cup center”
  • “right edge”
  • “left third”, or for the more advanced player
  • “second quarter to the right”

Of course with more break you align more outwards, but for shorter and straighter putts, you tend to use the metrics of the cup to target your ball.

With smaller cups you have to do the same thing, you just need to be even more accurate to have a chance to hole the putt. A ball aligned towards the cup center which is breaking unintentionally may have a chance to reach the outer part of the standard-sized hole and still drop, while with mini cups this is unlikely to happen.

What this knowledge does, it creates extra pressure in your head, you–intentionally or even unintentionally–adapt your aiming and execution, being aware of that narrower margin for error.

So taking that thought process as given, imagine you practice putting with mini cups for at least 20 minutes before a tournament and as you reach the first green of the course, the hole looks huge compared to the one that you just practiced with. If you stick to the same putting stroke and thoughts, it should be much easier to putt into these standard-sized holes.

So I’m a big fan of mini cups on putting practice greens! More clubs should follow the lead here, I propose!

Last remark: The complete opposite is the usage of these huge hole cups for beginners you might have seen. In my opinion this has nothing to do with golf anymore and should only be used on par-3 courses that are indeed intended for beginners to learn the game. It’s definitely appreciative there.

What do you think? Ever practiced putting with mini cups?