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bkuehn1952

Higher Handicap Because of Terrible Putting

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I'm a very well-rounded crappy golfer, so I'm not sure my handicap is really that much higher due to putting. Really, lousy pitching and chipping is responsible for my really bad putting days. One thing I'm fairly certain of is that I'm lost on the green when away from the home courses. Routinely playing some of the slowest greens in the area, has me looking real foolish when the greens are fast.

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One thing I'm fairly certain of is that I'm lost on the green when away from the home courses. Routinely playing some of the slowest greens in the area, has me looking real foolish when the greens are fast.

Some golfers handle this by keeping two different putters (e.g, heavy mallet type for slow green, and a lighter blade type for faster green).   Did you try that?

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No. I got a big old tank of a putter that came with the original set I bought. The idea of trying a new putter has occasionally gone through my mind, but it currently ranks fourth in the order of other golf things I'd like to be able to afford.

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I recently got into a putting slump of my own making.

Beginning in the winter of 2012 I decided to work hard all winter to improve my putting. I read Dave Pelz's Putting Bible, and Joe Parent's, Zen Putting. Every night I went into our game room and spent 60 minutes working on fundamentals. I changed my putter grip to oversized and went traditional with the placement of my hands on the grip, right hand low, after being cross-handed for 15 years. It seemed to have worked as my putting stats for 2013 were more than one stroke per round better than the previous year. (32.5 to 31.2). Last year (2014) was pretty steady as well, as was April through early July of this year.

I have always been a lag putter, preferring to have tap-in pars and bogies. But then, around the third week in July, I let a couple of negative thoughts creep in, and my putting suffered. First, I questioned, "Why can I consistently lag a putt within a couple of feet from the cup from 40+ feet and under?"  Then, I asked myself, "How far back and how far through should i take my putter?"

The result was that I would 3-putt two or three time per round, where my average for 3-putts was usually one every 2-3 rounds. Then my short putting became erratic, because I was worried more about the path of my putter. I tried 5 different putters in the span of four weeks. My HI went from 7.8 to 9.7.

I started getting pretty desperate, but I went into an analytical mode, and today, I might have just turned things around. I made a commitment to use my Ping B60 for at least the next month and also changed my hands on the grip to a reverse overlap, still right hand low. I also moved the ball an additional inch or two toward my left foot. The hands are feeling much more comfortable on the putter grip and moving the ball forward has allowed me to just swing the putter freely and not worry about how far back and through I should be stroking the putts.

The initial results were most impressive. I had 28 putts, including 8 one-putts, and zero three-putts. I know that things might change, but today was the first day I have felt comfortable on the greens in the last 3-4 weeks.

I love this game. ;-)

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While I "only" 3 putt once or twice a round putting is still one of the worst parts of my game. I don't 1 putt much, and I can't remember the last time I sunk a 10+ footer. I mean in like 60 rounds its maybe happened like 3 times. I've sunk some 8-10 footers from the fringe but that's it. I usually average about 36 putts a round.

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Rash of 3 putts lately. But my GIR % is ticking up from a season worst of 29% to 45%. My first putt is often far from the hole. Last night I 3 putted 5 times in 12 holes (GIR 56%), that's all I played. Three were over 50 feet breaking down slope, missed long with over 5 foot come backs, two were breaking and up slope that missed short. The missed second putts were edge burners.

I am a decent putter but the poor greens conditions and long putts make it tough. We have rough patches with sparse grass and the speed is all over the place.

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As of recent, I never really spent a lot of time on putting, and I do make quite a few 3 putt bogeys.

I feel like when I was a beginner, I was a better putter than I am now. That might have been because I spent much more time putting as a beginner? IDK for sure, but my putting is pretty bad right now. Some days I putt really well with 30, and some days I putt 40.

For example, if I am looking at a 25 foot downhill putt, I usually come up short, and long on uphill putts. Aimpoint express helps a lot with lag putts, but conditions change so much I have no idea how to estimate the stimp. I think there's an art in doing that. I also recently changed to "putting with my shoulders" and the claw method for less than 15 foot putts, and the two changes seems to give me more control?

I definitely don't spend enough time practicing my putting. It's way more fun to hit full swings on the range and watch the ball make a nice flight after a nice solid strike. Putting and chipping are not really all that satisfying.

My new putting stroke is a lot better than a couple months ago. Played a couple rounds using it and I am now putting in the low 30s. It has not really done anything to lower my handicap. I suspect that my previous putting was not all that bad because I would get enough 30 putt days to keep my handicap down. What I expect is that my average score will go down a few strokes, but not so much my handicap.

So, my answer for now is that my handicap was not higher due to putting.

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IMO big reason putting seems so important is it's often the last sequence in trying to salvage a hole. I've been 3 putting somewhat frequently lately due to hitting more greens, trading a chip for a putt because it's still in a bad spot, and my hc is trending down. If I shoot two scores this weekend comparable to my last 10 I will trend under 7. There will be some 3 putts in there.

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IMO big reason putting seems so important is it's often the last sequence in trying to salvage a hole. I've been 3 putting somewhat frequently lately due to hitting more greens, trading a chip for a putt because it's still in a bad spot, and my hc is trending down. If I shoot two scores this weekend comparable to my last 10 I will trend under 7. There will be some 3 putts in there.

This seems to hold true in your case as well. Same here. . .

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For me (17 HI), there is a direct correlation between increase in GIR and increase in total putts/round.  If I average 2+ GIRs/round, my total putts/round is likely be 31 - 32 range.   If GIR goes up to 3 - 4, my total putts/round inches up to 32 - 33.

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I wonder if anyone else has experienced this so I'll just ask. So for my entire golf life I've tried tons of different putting techniques. So often I focused so much on pendulum and "don't break your wrists" and everything else about putting. Yet my putting is still mediocre to maybe average. "Well," I said to myself a few weeks ago, "since I've tried being so technical and haven't really improved more than a monkey out there trying to hit a round thing into a hole, I'm just going to wing it." I've decided to treat putting like the task it actually is instead of trying to be perfect in my mechanics. Instead of getting into the nuances of a golf putting stroke, I'm just going to try to hit the ball into or near the hole like someone who never plays golf would do at a putt putt golf. The results have been pretty dang good so far! It takes a lot of the worry and timidness out of my putting stroke.

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I wonder if anyone else has experienced this so I'll just ask.

So for my entire golf life I've tried tons of different putting techniques. So often I focused so much on pendulum and "don't break your wrists" and everything else about putting. Yet my putting is still mediocre to maybe average.

"Well," I said to myself a few weeks ago, "since I've tried being so technical and haven't really improved more than a monkey out there trying to hit a round thing into a hole, I'm just going to wing it."

I've decided to treat putting like the task it actually is instead of trying to be perfect in my mechanics. Instead of getting into the nuances of a golf putting stroke, I'm just going to try to hit the ball into or near the hole like someone who never plays golf would do at a putt putt golf.

The results have been pretty dang good so far! It takes a lot of the worry and timidness out of my putting stroke.


I don't think too much about pendulum or wrist breaking stuff.  However, I do focus on tempo, and distance control.  Maybe, that's what you are doing now?   Perhaps, you should post your new putting swing in the Swing Thread forum. :-)

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I don't think too much about pendulum or wrist breaking stuff.  However, I do focus on tempo, and distance control.  Maybe, that's what you are doing now?   Perhaps, you should post your new putting swing in the Swing Thread forum.   :-)

This is 100% spot on. Instead of worrying about the perfect pendulum and all that other stuff, I'm just all about tempo now. Granted, I did open the blade up once badly today which led to a 3 putt and is entirely due to my new method, but one putt out of an entire day didn't do what I wanted? I'll take it. :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rkim291968

I don't think too much about pendulum or wrist breaking stuff.  However, I do focus on tempo, and distance control.  Maybe, that's what you are doing now?   Perhaps, you should post your new putting swing in the Swing Thread forum.

This is 100% spot on. Instead of worrying about the perfect pendulum and all that other stuff, I'm just all about tempo now.

Granted, I did open the blade up once badly today which led to a 3 putt and is entirely due to my new method, but one putt out of an entire day didn't do what I wanted? I'll take it. :)

That's gonna happen to best of us.   I can keep my blade on target 80% of the times at best.   I.e, I am resigned to the fact that I will push & pull some putts.   But if the distance control is there, even the pushes and pulls will lead to 2 putts at max.    The ones I tend to 3 putt are medium range steep down hill putts.   I have a tendency to race it past the hole once in a while and miss the comebacker.

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That's gonna happen to best of us.   I can keep my blade on target 80% of the times at best.   I.e, I am resigned to the fact that I will push & pull some putts.   But if the distance control is there, even the pushes and pulls will lead to 2 putts at max.    The ones I tend to 3 putt are medium range steep down hill putts.   I have a tendency to race it past the hole once in a while and miss the comebacker.

Thanks for that. I just watched the video Mvmac and Iacas posted of their alternate ball round and I noticed that they don't seem as concerned about wrists and all that and seem to be more about tempo too. I could be completely wrong but that's kind of the impression I got. I mean, obviously we want to strike the putt on line, but I swear I get into my own head too much worrying about the perfect stroke (in theory, it is never actually perfect) and I lose sight of the "you are trying to get a ball to go into a hole" aspect.

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[quote name="rkim291968" url="/t/83830/higher-handicap-because-of-terrible-putting/120#post_1204479"] That's gonna happen to best of us.   I can keep my blade on target 80% of the times at best.   I.e, I am resigned to the fact that I will push & pull some putts.   But if the distance control is there, even the pushes and pulls will lead to 2 putts at max.    The ones I tend to 3 putt are medium range steep down hill putts.   I have a tendency to race it past the hole once in a while and miss the comebacker.

Thanks for that. I just watched the video Mvmac and Iacas posted of their alternate ball round and I noticed that they don't seem as concerned about wrists and all that and seem to be more about tempo too. I could be completely wrong but that's kind of the impression I got. I mean, obviously we want to strike the putt on line, but I swear I get into my own head too much worrying about the perfect stroke (in theory, it is never actually perfect) and I lose sight of the "you are trying to get a ball to go into a hole" aspect.[/quote] You are not alone in overthinking putting. A lot of people, including me, overthink it as well.

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I rarely 3 putt, but seldom 1 putt. I count putts from the fringe as putts or it would really screw up the statistics. My problem is that I can hit them where I aim, I just can't aim well enough. I do the cha-cha all round long. Left - right. Last round I had 10 puts that either lipped out or at least caught a part of the cup without going in. The ball was rolling real well. I tend to over read breaks. I'd be better off basically aiming straight at the hole every time. The course I play most has Tifdwarf Bermuda greens. Lots of grain. Our league course has paspalum greens. I think Satan developed that stuff.

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Thanks for that. I just watched the video Mvmac and Iacas posted of their alternate ball round and I noticed that they don't seem as concerned about wrists and all that and seem to be more about tempo too. I could be completely wrong but that's kind of the impression I got.

Yeah I don't think about that stuff at all. Mostly because you should use some wrists in your putting stroke. There has to be some "flow" to it so you can't do that with frozen wrists. Think about an anchored style of putter. That anchor point doesn't move so there is going to be some freedom with the wrists. Now I'm not saying your putting stroke should be "wristy, like Arnie back in the day, just that you shouldn't consciously try to take out the dynamics of the stroke.

Something like this. Note where the butt of the club points during the entire stroke.

Here's what you do if you want a pendulum stroke, this is a big part to good speed control and avoiding 3 putts.

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