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From 110 yards out, how many strokes does it take the average scratch golfer to hole out? How about the average PGA Tour player? How close do they hit the first shot in each case? From 35 feet away, how many putts does the average scratch golfer take? The average PGA Tour player? What percentage of the time do they hole the putt? This speaks to Separation Value®, and it speaks to the proper expectations a golfer should have, and it speaks to your mindset and approach on the golf course. I've asked players - average players who aren't necessarily super tuned in to the world of stats - at what range a PGA Tour player is 50/50 to make a putt. I haven't kept track of the specific number, but it's over 30 people and may be over 50… and a surprising trend surfaced: not a single person guessed 8 feet (or less). I had guesses out to twenty feet - by an 11-handicapper - and most guesses fell between 10 and 12 feet. From 12 feet a PGA Tour player makes only about a third of their putts. Yeah, that'd get them into Cooperstown, but it's not an otherwise impressive statistic. I've told this story a few times. I was having my college kids play the forward tees one day (I recommend everyone do this from time to time). The eighth hole was a 460-yard par five from these tees (kind of a brute for women), and a player had hit a good drive and a very solid second shot to 20 feet. He missed the "eagle" putt and tapped in his "birdie." Stomping off the green I said "Hey, what's up?" He replied, "I should have made that putt. I really wanted the eagle there." This blew my mind. Here I had a kid - not in the starting five, mind you - who had played a hole nearly perfectly. Better than the average player on the PGA Tour would play (and score) on the hole. And he's leaving the hole disappointed with his score and upset with his play. The PGA Tour player takes between 2.83 and 3.05 strokes to hole out from 110 yards (depending on whether they're in the fairway or not). They only hit the green from this range about 3/4 of the time. The average scratch golfer takes about 3.1 strokes from that range. From 35 feet, the average PGA Tour player takes just over two strokes (about 2.03). Sure, they hole one about 5% of the time, but they three-putt about 8% of the time. The average scratch golfer's slash line (of sorts) from 35 feet: 2.04/5%/9%. In other words, if you're 110 yards out, and you hit your shot to 20 feet, that's not only an okay shot, it's a good shot, and one that should make you proud. If you miss that 20 footer and tap in for par, take comfort in the knowledge that a PGA Tour player only makes a putt of that length about 15% of the time, and averages 1.87 putts from that distance, and that's on better putting surfaces than you're likely putting on, and with a detailed green map. Golf is Hard®. The hole is really, really small, and even getting the ball into it from 20 feet is pretty difficult. Do yourself a favor: stop beating yourself up for great shots. If you lag a 30-footer up close, don't leave the green angry with your putt, muttering about how you "really wanted that one." Tell yourself you did great, PGA Tour level, and if you keep putting that well they'll drop occasionally. If you hit the green with a wedge from 120 out and have a 30 footer left for birdie, tell yourself it was a good shot. Because it is. Look, to be honest, you'll get creamed off the tee and with the long approach shots. PGA Tour players will wipe the floor with you in those categories. You have enough to feel bad about, if you choose, in those areas of the game. There's no need to beat yourself up for the shots that are actually GOOD shots. Know the stats, and feel better about yourself. If you hit your pitching wedge to 20 feet, pump yourself up a bit. It was a good shot. Maybe even a great shot, depending on your skill level. Take pride in that. Feel good about it. Golf will beat you down often enough… there's little sense in you doing it to yourself when the truth is the opposite.