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3 Keys to Better Putting

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I've said this a few times (well, more than a few…), but I didn't realize we didn't have a specific thread for it until now. Apologies for the brevity of this post, but the concepts - I think - are fairly simple and don't really need a lot of explanation.

Just as we have 5 Simple Keys for the full swing (read more here), @david_wedzik and I have identified the 3 Keys to putting. These three things are the three commonalities of the game's best putters. They are:

  • Bead - hit your putts online
  • Speed - control the distance you hit the putt
  • Read - read the green (amount of break) properly

Bead

This comes from the phrase "to draw a bead." The poorest putters regularly pull or push their putts left or right of the line they intend to hit. The best putters do not miss their line - they regularly "draw a bead" and hit their mark.

Speed

The best putters in the world regularly control their speed. They aren't regularly hitting the ball four feet short or five feet long. This thread has a lot to do with that: .

Read

The best putters in the world can read greens well. They don't regularly get the direction of break wrong, and they don't regularly play a foot of break on a putt that breaks two inches or three feet.


Great! So how do I practice my putting now?

  1. Pick the skill above at which you're the worst, and then WORK ON THAT skill.
  2. See #1.
  3. There is no #3.

In other words, don't throw a ball down on the green and putt to a hole 20 feet away. What you even doing? Don't con yourself into thinking "you're working on all three skills at the same time!" You're not, because if you miss, you likely have no idea which skill was lacking. Did you misread it, align poorly, and then shove the putt with extra speed to try to make it? Who knows?

Pick a skill, devise drills to practice that particular skill and only that skill, and work on it.

It's as simple as 1-2-3.

P.S. Go to an AimPoint clinic to help tremendously with "Read." Find one near you at http://www.aimpointgolf.com/instructors.asp .putting.jpg

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Absolutely agree and great thread. Especially the part about isolating which "key" you are working on so you can evaluate your progress without interference.

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Just finished this part of the book in LSW!

Will read the how to practice putting shortly and I cant wait.. I used to find my self just throwing the ball on the green and practice hitting shots, but now I realize I wasn't really doing much other than putting :(

Taking an Aimpoint Express class next Friday, so that should take care of the "Read" like you mentioned!

The only thing left will be working on start lines and distance control!

Thanks for the info!

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Erik is there a good way to check if your key #1 is correct? I have always wondered if it push or pull putts but never knew how to check.

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Erik is there a good way to check if your key #1 is correct? I have always wondered if it push or pull putts but never knew how to check.

I'd recommend a camera. I always thought I pushed my putts, then I got some good footage of myself putting. Turns out, I hit my lines; I just line up poorly.

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Erik is there a good way to check if your key #1 is correct? I have always wondered if it push or pull putts but never knew how to check.

Stretch string between two knitting needles. Line up under the string and hit puts along that line. You'll know right away whether you push or pull them.

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Erik is there a good way to check if your key #1 is correct? I have always wondered if it push or pull putts but never knew how to check.


What Jason said. Should cost about $6 from Jo-Ann Fabrics or something.

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Stretch string between two knitting needles. Line up under the string and hit puts along that line. You'll know right away whether you push or pull them.


I need to get some knitting needles. Why do I keep procrastinating on this?

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I need to get some knitting needles. Why do I keep procrastinating on this?

Also get a digital level. Then you can keep the needles in the level case, as well the string.

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So at what distances you should practice and what kind of an accuracy can be considered satisfactory?

Reflecting on the http://thesandtrap.com/t/51757/pga-tour-putts-gained-make-percentage-stats

These values might be reasonable:

8/10 from 3 feet (1 m)

4/10 from 7 feet and rest of the balls within a foot (2 m / 30 cm)

1/10 from 15 feet and rest within 2 feet (5 m / 60 cm)

Up to 35 feet within 2 feet (10m / 60 cm)

Up to 50 feet within 3 feet  (15m / 1m)

Further distances: try not to get in these situations :-P

Imperial to metric values are quite coarsely rounded

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So at what distances you should practice and what kind of an accuracy can be considered satisfactory?

Reflecting on the http://thesandtrap.com/t/51757/pga-tour-putts-gained-make-percentage-stats

These values might be reasonable:

8/10 from 3 feet (1 m)

4/10 from 7 feet and rest of the balls within a foot (2 m / 30 cm)

1/10 from 15 feet and rest within 2 feet (5 m / 60 cm)

Up to 35 feet within 2 feet (10m / 60 cm)

Up to 50 feet within 3 feet  (15m / 1m)

Further distances: try not to get in these situations

Imperial to metric values are quite coarsely rounded

Outside of 25 feet should be with in 10% of the distance of the putt you hit. So if you hit a 30 footer, then with in 3 feet is good.

Putts Made PGA tour level (roughly)

95%+ with in 3 ft

80%  3-5 ft

50% at 8ft

15% from 20ft

Practice your lag putting and practice your 3-15 foot putts.

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Also get a digital level. Then you can keep the needles in the level case, as well the string.

Cool, an excuse to head into town tonight. I have been reading up on AimPoint, and I might do one next year in Montreal, which is the nearest course currently. But it couldn't hurt to get a better sense of the feel of slopes backed by data. And as for the string. I putt on a mat in my house and can be deadly from up to seven feet, which I figure should be good enough, so I am thinking that it could just be the disorientation of being on an unmarked green without the helpful stripes that is throwing me, so the putting practice on the mats is good, but it isn't sufficient to accurately hit on the greens. Maybe the knitting needles and strings will work as "training wheels" onto the practice green.

I wear bifocals, because I never could get used to progressives. I can use these to create a line too, but it will take practice to be able to really use that, I think. Does that count as a having a "training aid" with me while playing?

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That 10% past 25 ft seems reasonable.

What is lag putting?

:bugout:

Any putt that has a low probability of going in, but you want to putt it close enough so that you have an easy 2nd putt. Not saying don't try to make the putt, but majority of the time you'd like to be with in that 10% range.

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To make sure I am starting the ball on the correct line I have been lining up my putter from behind the ball first. I have been doing this on the course also.

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