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"Long and Short" Putting Game


iacas

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Here's a good putting game I came up with this past week.

Our indoor putting green has five holes that range from 12-25 feet apart. They're uphill, downhill, and sidehill.

Here are the basic rules:

  • You work around the holes, using the hole you just finished as the "tee marker" for the next hole. So, just putt from anywhere behind that hole to the next hole.
  • You "pass" or "clear" a hole by two-putting two balls, but:
    • One putt you hit must stop short of the hole
    • One putt you hit must finish long of the hole.
  • If you fail in any way to two-putt two consecutive putts to the hole (one from short, one from long), you repeat the hole.
  • Your score is the number of attempts it takes to finish all five holes.

In other words, these result in a failure and you have to re-start that hole:

  • You hit both initial putts short or long.
  • You hit either or both putts into the 6" zone that's "hole high" (if any part of the ball overlaps any part of the hole distance-wise, it's neither long nor short). This includes accidentally holing a first putt.
  • You fail to two-putt either of the balls.

In other words, you have to two-putt after leaving your first putts short and long.

This really emphasizes distance control as you'll want to leave putts close to the hole without getting too close to the hole, with a dash of line awareness as you don't want to hole a putt or hit it four feet left/right, either.

Give it a try, and write your score down in a Note on your phone. Keep track over a few weeks or months and see if you improve.


Scoring example:

Attempts are the numbers listed.

  1. Player holes the first putt. Attempt over.
  2. Player hits a putt short of the target hole, and one long of the target hole. Player makes the first putt, and misses the second. Attempt over.
  3. Player hits one short, one long, and holes both second putts. Hole complete.
  4. On the second hole, a player leaves both putts short. Attempt over.
  5. They leave one short, and one finishes just overlapping the back of the hole. Attempt over.
  6. They hit one short, one long, and hole both. Hole complete.

If they were playing two holes, they'd score a 6.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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  • iacas changed the title to "Long and Short" Putting Game

I like this a lot with the one exception that I'm not sure I'd want to punish holing putts. If you hole both putts, you clearly fail because you didn't leave one short, but I would change this for myself to say that, so long as the holed putt would have gone long if it didn't go in, then I would count a holed putt as a pass for the long one. 

I do really like how this combines distance control work with holing out the second putts. Anyone can hit one putt short and one putt long. Your margins for error vary based on your ability to hole the short ones. Much like in real life on the golf course. 

Long, but not too long is also a pretty good hole capture speed to aim for on the golf course for the sorts of distances that you're talking about. From 30' you want to hit it basically hole high, but from 12-25 feet you probably want to get it a little by the hole. The amount by which will be getting pretty close to not at all by 25', but you shouldn't be leaving many putts short from 12'. 

I will be giving this a try next time I find a putting green I can use 🙂

 

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37 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

I like this a lot with the one exception that I'm not sure I'd want to punish holing putts. If you hole both putts, you clearly fail because you didn't leave one short, but I would change this for myself to say that, so long as the holed putt would have gone long if it didn't go in, then I would count a holed putt as a pass for the long one.

I considered that when creating it but decided against it because you have to control your line somewhat, too. A holed putt, also, could have (and in fact did) finished "hole high." Not allowing for holed putts adds extra emphasis on the "long" putts to get it close to the hole in both dimensions - laterally and distance-wise.

37 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

Long, but not too long is also a pretty good hole capture speed to aim for on the golf course for the sorts of distances that you're talking about. From 30' you want to hit it basically hole high, but from 12-25 feet you probably want to get it a little by the hole.

Most ams should actually hit the 20' hole high on the golf course. 😄 

37 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

I will be giving this a try next time I find a putting green I can use 🙂

Thanks! Report back.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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I like the drill - today while playing a new course I had a number of putts that finished just past hole high and some that were short.  The greens were winter length and slower that some I've played lately.  I will be doing some extensive drills in the coming weeks focused on distance/proximity controls, this drill will be a perfect tool to help in this area.   Thanks for putting this new drill together. 

 

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14 hours ago, iacas said:

I considered that when creating it but decided against it because you have to control your line somewhat, too. A holed putt, also, could have (and in fact did) finished "hole high." Not allowing for holed putts adds extra emphasis on the "long" putts to get it close to the hole in both dimensions - laterally and distance-wise.

Most ams should actually hit the 20' hole high on the golf course. 😄 

Thanks! Report back.

Fair point on the first one. This reminds me of another game that I have played on occasion. Find yourself a straight uphill six foot putt. Then hit three putts. First one you try to hit the back lip above the liner and have it go in. Then the second you hit the liner, not the back lip and not the bottom of the hole. Then the third you try to drop it over the front lip, so it only hits the bottom of the cup. Hole it at the wrong speed and it doesn't count. I found that to be a very useful last minute thing before going out to play and that was not crediting holed putts, so maybe I can get past that. I'll give it a go.

I agree that on the course most ams should aim for hole high from 20'. There are no doubt a few who should be aiming at hole high from 12-15 feet as well. Can still be aspirational in practice though 🙂

I will report back if I remember. Next time I see a putting green is going to be April most likely though, so it may be a while 😞 

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I'll have to remember to pull this up in the spring and do it.  I tend to be short on my putts and this should help with that.

Edited by StuM
Changed "on the spring" to "in the spring"

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

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2 hours ago, StuM said:

I'll have to remember to pull this up in the spring and do it.  I tend to be short on my putts and this should help with that.

So I find myself coming up short quite a lot too. I think the reason is when I look at the putt, I see the line up to the hole. Subconsciously I'm setting the area of the green up to the hole (but not past it) as the "playing field". Then subconsciously I don't want to hit it out of the playing field and so hitting it past the hole is treated subconsciously as not being ideal. When I think about it, I try to draw the picture in my mind of the ball rolling through the hole and out the other side of it at whatever speed I deem to be "right" for the putt. I think this drill could be really helpful at including more of the green in my subconscious mind as part of the playing field by dictating that I need to hit it by the hole at least once.

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7 hours ago, Ty_Webb said:

I will report back if I remember. Next time I see a putting green is going to be April most likely though, so it may be a while 😞 

Putting_Green-scaled.jpgGreen_Closeup-scaled.jpg

😄

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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46 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

Anything like that on Long Island? Erie's not exactly a pop out at lunchtime for me 😉

I dunno. @billchao and @boogielicious make the trip… 😉 

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

I dunno. @billchao and @boogielicious make the trip… 😉 

To be fair he’s right. It’s definitely not a pop out at lunchtime trip 😃

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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10 hours ago, billchao said:

To be fair he’s right. It’s definitely not a pop out at lunchtime trip 😃

9 hours is just a really long lunch break.

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Scott

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

9 hours is just a really long lunch break.

Google maps is saying it's a 7 hour 33 minute drive. If I spend 20 minutes putting to do the drill a couple of times (that's also about as much as my back can handle), then starting my lunchbreak at 4am would have me back to work at about 8pm if I don't stop along the way. That's a pretty healthy lunchbreak - not sure my boss would appreciate that too much. Maybe I could fly

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