Putting is one of, if not, the most important aspects of golf, and it's also one of the most frustrating. In terms of scoring, putting is half of the game. Even the best golfers in the world three-putt more often than they'd like. There are a few keys to improving your putting and maximizing strokes-gained on the putting green.
What is Strokes-Gained Putting?
Strokes-Gained Putting is a metric that measures how many strokes a golfer gains or loses on the putting green relative to the field average. It's calculated by taking the number of putts a golfer takes and subtracting the average number of putts taken by the field. For example, if a golfer takes 28 putts in a round and the field average is 31 putts, then the golfer would have gained 3 strokes on the putting green.
According to the PGA TOUR, the average golfer on the tour gains about 0.5 strokes per round on the putting green. However, the best putters on tour can gain as many as 2 or 3 strokes per round. This means that putting is one of the biggest opportunities for golfers to improve their scores.
How to Improve Your Putting
There are a few things you can do to improve your putting and maximize strokes-gained on the putting green.
Practice regularly. The more you practice, the better your putting will become. There are 3 aspects to putting that you need to practice. They are your stroke, your distance control, and your green reading.
Use the right equipment. Make sure you have a putter that fits your stroke and your eye. What is your dominant eye? The industry loves with offset shafts. But the fact is that if you are a RIGHT-HANDED putter and RIGHT-EYE dominant, you will align a straight shaft better.
Develop a pre-putt routine. A pre-putt routine will help you to stay focused and to make consistent strokes. Your routine should include things like lining up your putt, take a practice stroke or two, and visualizing the ball going into the hole.
Read the greens correctly. Reading greens is an essential part of good putting. Take your time to read the green and to identify the breaks. You'll be amazed at what grade your feet can feel. Practice walking around greens with a slope measuring device to calibrate your "feel".
Be patient. Putting is a game of patience. Don't get frustrated if you don't make every putt. Just keep practicing and work to build a good stroke, and you'll eventually see improvement.
Manage expectations. Through the 2021/22 season, the PGA TOUR pros average make from 10-feet was 41.11%. That's less than half! And these are the best of the best whom practice for hours on end, every day. So, if you miss, just make sure you miss well (close) and take the 2-putt and move along.
Putting is a complex skill, but it's one that can be improved with practice and dedication. By following the tips above, you can improve your putting and maximize strokes-gained on the putting green.