2 Games To Make Putting Practice More Interesting (and Productive) (Ep.50)

golf putting drills

Got questions or want to be on the show?

Email me or hit me up through Twitter (@caseybourque) or social media and I’ll make sure I help you out. Look for live Q&A sessions and call-ins. Subscribe on your favorite podcast platform to get Golf Essentials every day.

Pull-Back and Safety Pull-Back

These two putting games are incredible in a lot of ways. First of all, they help make putting practice a lot more interesting. That’s a big deal for some of you who find putting super boring.

The benefits of these two games are many…they help lag putting as well as those testy 4 – 8 footers. You’ll simulate real round conditions including a little bit of pressure if you’re playing with others or matching your personal best.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • In both games, you’ll play 9 or 18 holes on the putting green.
  • Each hole is a Par 2 with a range of about 15 – 50 feet. Try to mix them up as much as possible.
  • Count all your strokes and see what you can shoot.


After you hit your first putt on each hole, any putt that doesn’t go in the hole gets “pulled back” directly away from the hole 1 putter length (or 3 feet).

This means that even putts that miss by an inch become testy 3 1/2 footers.

Miss your second putt? Pull it back and knock it in. Miss again? Sorry, but keep at it until you hole it out…

Shoot even par in this game and you’re REALLY rolling your rock.

Safety Pull-Back

This one is a variation of pull-back where you have a “safety zone”. If your approach putt lands in the safety zone, you don’t pull it back. You play it from where it lies and tap it in.

The safety zone is based on hitting a good approach putt – one that has a chance to go in with the proper speed. The zone is defined by any putt that reaches the hole (1 inch short is out)…and stays within your putter length (3 feet) of the hole. Imagine a 3 ft semi-circle behind the hole.

Safety pull-back is quite a bit easier, but it puts more emphasis on players who are good lag putters. Good lag putts are rewarded with tap-ins, whereas lousy distance control means you’re grinding over 5 footers all day long.

Have fun.