Team Titleist was on hand this week as LPGA players prepared for the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. We caught up with Jeong Jang, who spent some quality time on the putting green practicing a new drill with her Pro V1 and Scotty Cameron Detour Newport 2.
So far this year, Jang's putting has not been as reliable as seasons past. In 2008, Jang finished tied for fourth on the LPGA in Putts per Greens in Regulation; this season she is tied for 50th. (JJ missed much of the 2009 season recovering from wrist surgery.)
Jang realized she has been coming up and out of her stance early in her putting stroke, spraying the ball both left and right. Working with her coach at Locust Hill, JJ aimed to keep the putter head low through the hitting zone and the face square at impact.
JJ came away from the lesson with this simple drill (slideshow below):
• Jang balances the grip end of a wedge on a tee horizontally, a couple inches in front of the ball, so that it hovers slightly above the ball.
• She goes through her regular pre-shot routine, sets up, then putts the ball normally.
• The grip end acts like a limbo bar, forcing her to keep the putter low through the hitting zone and drive the ball toward the hole.
• If she comes out of her stance or picks up on the putter early, she will knock the wedge off the tee.
JJ told Team Titleist the drill works especially well for short putts, up to about 8 feet.
"This simple drill really makes me focus on keeping the putter low and I am getting back the feel of keeping the face square through impact," she said. "You should try it!"
Don't be surprised if JJ returns to the winning form she displayed on her way to being crowned 2006 Wegmans LPGA champion.
Click the photo below to view some images of Jeong Jang's putting drill: