Pro Golf Tips

The quickest and easiest way to improve your golf score is to improve your putting. Putting typically accounts for 40 to 50 percent of strokes. Therefore you should spend almost half of your practice time improving putting. Here are a few ideas to help.

First, find your personal “sure thing” zone; it could be three inches or five feet. Your sure thing zone is the length of putt that you know you can make 100 percent of the time under any conditions. Statistics tell us that the PGA Tour players make almost 100 percent of their putts from four feet. However, they only make about 80 percent from five feet. Spend a few minutes on a putting green with eight balls forming a circle around the hole at about the distance you’re comfortable with. If you can make all eight putts three times in a row, move back six inches and try again. Eventually you will miss one. The previous location is your “sure thing” zone. If you can add 12 inches to this zone this summer, you will have a good summer of putting.

Next, work on your lag putts from 15 feet. Drop four balls 15 feet from the cup. Go through your putting routine for each putt as you hit them. If all four end up in your “sure thing” zone then go to the other side of the cup and do the same thing. If you are successful again, go back to the other side of the cup and move back to 20 feet and repeat. If you are not successful, start over from the beginning. With some dedicated and patient practice using this drill, your lag putting will dramatically improve.

Lastly, mark your golf ball with an alignment line or use the line that the ball manufacturer has imprinted on the ball. I often say to my students that if the best players in the world all do something then it’s worth trying. Using the line on top of the ball and lining it up as you are replacing your ball on the green eliminates more than half of the thinking in putting. Now as you approach your ball in your putting routine, line your putter up with the directional line on the ball. The only thought on your mind once you’re ready to putt is speed or distance.

Use these ideas in practice and play, and I know your putting will improve. Find your “sure thing” zone, improve your lag putting, and mark your ball, and you just might avoid a few three-putts.