How to Play 'The Clock' (or 'Clock Golf') Putting Game

There is a whole segment of golf putting drills that involve going around the hole in a circle, repetitively sinking putts, from close range at first and then longer. Such circular putting drills can also be modified into a putting game — one that should help improve your putting over time, too, in addition to giving you a shot at winning some of your friends' money.

This putting game is named The Clock, or the Clock Game, because it involves setting up 12 stations in a circle around a golf hole on a practice putting green. Then you and your friends take turns putting from each of the 12 stations (or 12 numbers on the clock dial). Go around the clockface once, compare strokes needed to hole out from each of the 12 stations, and crown a winner.

If you are playing Clock Golf as a prelude to (or following the conclusion of) a tournament, then tournament organizers or personnel at the tournament site might actually paint the clock face(s) on the practice green to set up the game. More likely you and your buddies who are playing the game will need to use ball markers, golf balls, tees or such at each "hour" of the clock to denote the positions from which putts are to be attempted.

You can choose a hole on the practice green that is on a flat part of the green to create easier putts, which, of course, can also be done by placing each of the 12 stations relatively close to the cup. But you can also make the putts more difficult in a number of ways.

For one, you can "draw" your circle such that the cup is much closer to one edge, rather than central. That will create some shorter putts, but also some longer ones.

You can pick a hole on the practice green that is not on a flat part of the green — that is on a part of the green with lots of break — to create some left-breaking and right-breaking putts. You can also choose an undulating part of the green and draw your clockface so that the hole is off-center. And, of course, you can also simply enlarge the circle to create longer putts.

You can go around the hole once (quicker), or several times (if you have more time to play). You can set up 12 stations around one hole on the practice green, or around two or any number — depending on how large the green is, of course, and whether any other golfers are also using it.

Playing the Clock Game regularly might even help you become a better putter!

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