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For a diagram of the star drill, download it here.

Putting – The Importance of Short Putts
By Peter J. Sanders
President, Golf Research Associates

Putting is approximately 40% of the game for players at every handicap level and arguably the most important scoring skill in golf. Further, it is a skill at which every golfer, regardless of size or strength, can become proficient.

There are actually two distinct skills in putting:
1. Distance control – the ability to lag the ball close to the hole
2. Accuracy – the ability to make short putts

For a complimentary 15 day trial of putting analysis, use the following link. Putting Analysis Trial

While each of these skills is important, the latter is the most important to effective scoring. The critical short putt range is from five feet and closer to the hole. Putts in this distance separate players at every level of the game because the more skilled players make a higher percentage of them. Further, they are distances that all golfers face frequently in every round. Finally, if we become proficient at these critical short putts, the distance control skill becomes that much easier.

Let’s start with how often we can expect to be faced with an opportunity of five feet or less in an average round. This data was extracted from our extensive SHOT BY SHOT database of over 26,000 rounds recorded by thousands of golfers at all handicap levels.

PGA Tour
0-5 Hdcp
6-10 Hdcp
11-15 Hdcp
16-25 Hdcp
# putts of 5 ft and less per round
% of total putts

What sort of success can each of these handicap groups expect?

% putts holed
PGA Tour
0-5 Hdcp
6-10 Hdcp
11-15 Hdcp
16-25 Hdcp
1 - 3 feet
4 - 5 feet

For a complimentary 15 day trial of putting analysis, use the following link. Putting Analysis Trial

It’s a quick, easy and revealing way to track your putting.

Star drill:

Pick a hole on your practice green that is on a gradual slope and place 5 tees in a star pattern, as shown below, each 3 feet from the hole (a standard putter length). Putt a ball from next to each tee around the star until you can make 10 in a row. This drill is designed to simulate the pressure faced on the course and to build confidence in each of the types of important short putts that you will face. It is important that you develop an effective pre-shot routine for these putts and use it on every attempt.

For a diagram of the star drill, download it here.

When you become very confident at 3 feet, move the tees to 4 feet and eventually 5 feet. It is not advisable to move beyond 5 feet as it will prove frustrating and difficult to build positive images.

A reasonable goal from 4 feet is 9 of 10 and 8 of 10 from 5 feet. As you improve, you can set higher goals.

I call this drill the Star Drill because if you work at it, it will make you a star.

For a complimentary trial of putting analysis, use the following link.Complete Game Analysis Trial

Peter Sanders is the Founder and President of Golf Research Associates. His company has been providing statistical analysis to help golfers at all levels determine the precise strengths and weaknesses of their games for over 16 years. The company has accumulated a detailed database of over 45,000 rounds which enables it to provide unique insight into how the game is really played at every handicap level. www.shotbyshot.com


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at golfexpert@probablegolfinstruction.com

©Probable Golf Instruction, Ken Tannar 2001-2011. All Rights Reserved.

Langley, B.C. V2Y 2G4
Phone: 604-539-7760   FAX: to fax, email an attachment
probablegolf@yahoo.ca or golfexpert@probablegolfinstruction.com
Site maintained by Ken Tannar.

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