How To Break 100 Lesson 2: Putting

, GolfLink Editor
Updated December 7, 2022
Putting practice
    putting practice
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Our How To Break 100 course follows the philosophy that golf is a game best learned backwards. With that in mind, our second lesson is all about putting. We’ll establish some putting benchmarks and basics of putting technique, then assign you some drills designed to take your putting to the next level.

RELATED: How To Break 100 Course Overview | How To Break 100 Lesson 1

Benchmark Putting Stats to Break 100

Breaking 100: Putting Benchmarks
    Breaking 100 in golf putting benchmarks

Your putting game is like the quarterback of a football team. Sure, it can be the difference between a good and great round or player, but it’s just as likely to get far more credit, and blame, for your results than it truly deserves. 

Golfers are notorious for bemoaning every 3-putt and every missed four-footer noting the fictitious score they “should have shot” with perfect putting. The reality is, every golfer 3-putts, and nobody makes every four-footer. To set your expectations appropriately, and hopefully save you from some negative self-talk, these are the putting benchmarks you should shoot for as you aim to break 100. These are roughly the putting statistics of a 20-handicap golfer, or someone who shoots scores in the mid-to-low 90s, so hitting these marks will have your putting game comfortably inside your target range.



Total Putts


3-Putts per Round

4 or less

0-2 ft Make %


3-5 ft Make %


6-9 ft Make %


You read that right. You don’t have to make everything inside of five feet to break 100. You can break 100 even if you 3-putt a couple times per side. Stay confident, stay patient, and putts will drop.


Proper Putting Setup

To learn the proper putting setup, let’s take a lesson from David Glenz, who enjoyed a six-year career on the PGA Tour.

Keys to Great Putting Posture

  • Tilt forward and relax your legs
  • Ensure your eyes are over the ball
  • Position the back of the ball under your sternum

Putting With Feel

Moreso than any other aspect of golf, putting is about feel. Every player feels their putting stroke in a different part of their body. Some feel it in their hands, others feel it in their shoulders, chest, arms, or even back. Follow the feel that comes naturally to you.

The Pendulum Putting Stroke

  • A pendulum swing has acceleration through the bottom of the arc, at impact
  • A pendulum swing also results in the most consistent stroke, allowing golfers to master distance control in their putts

Putting Drill 1: Make 5-Footers Under Pressure

It’s time to start hitting golf shots. Mike McGetrick teaches this great putting drill for making short putts under pressure.

  • On a practice putting green, set tees in the ground three feet from the hole at 12 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock
  • Starting at the 12 o’clock tee, place a ball at the tee 3-feet from the hole, another ball on the same line at four feet away (one foot behind your first ball), and a third ball on the same line five feet from the hole
  • Hit the 3-foot, 4-foot, and 5-foot putts from each tee, for a total of 12 putts
  • Begin with a target score of 8-out-of-12, and raise you goal score once you hit it

This drill accomplishes two things. First of all, you get to practice a high volume of putts from short range. You’ll face a putt from inside five feet on all but a couple holes throughout a round of golf, and this drill is a great way to get comfortable with them. Second, it forces you to putt from all sides of the hole. Finally, it incorporates pressure into your practice. Pressure is unavoidable on the golf course, so you may as well practice under pressure.

Once you can make 8- of 9-of-12 in this drill, you’ll have no problem hitting your target of 40% or more from 3-5 feet on the course.


Putting Drill 2: Distance Control on Long Putts

Distance control is one of the most important elements of putting, and there’s no better way to hone in your distance control than good old-fashioned repetition. John Elliot, who has earned recognition as one of Golf Digest’s 50 Greatest Teachers and Golf Magazine’s top 100 Teachers in his career, explains this simple drill to dial in your distance control on long putts.

  • On the practice green, create a semi-circle around a hole with golf tees by putting your putter head in the hole, and dropping a tee into the ground at the end of your grip
  • Leave an opening at one end of the circle that you can putt balls into
  • Putt six balls from about 30 feet away with the goal of getting all six balls into the circle, about 2.5-3 feet of the hole

Once you can roll six putts in a row from 30 feet to within three feet of the hole, you’ll have great distance control in your putting and you should notice those 3-putts begin to melt away from your game.


Green Reading

Your putting lesson is almost complete. You’ve got great posture and a nice stroke, and you’ve practiced making putts from inside five feet, and lagging them close from 30 feet. The final piece of your putting lesson is green reading. Once you can properly read greens, it will be much easier to get long putts close to the hole, and knock those short to mid-rangers into the center.

Jane Blalock, 27-time LPGA Tour winner, demonstrates how to read greens to take your putting to the next level.

2 Basics of Green-Reading

  • Your ball will always follow the contour of the green, meaning if the right side of the hole is higher than the left, your putt will break from right to left.
  • Take note of the grain of the grass, because your ball will favor the grain (or the direction the grass is growing). If your putt is into the grain, it will be slower, and if it is down grain, it will be faster.

Putt For Dough

Like a reliable quarterback, putting is an important element of a successful golf game. If your goal is to break 100, your putting doesn’t need to be flashy, it just needs to be a great game manager. By improving your technique, making short putts under pressure, getting your long putts close to the hole, and reading greens, you’ll have no problem hitting your Break 100 putting benchmarks, and you’ll be well on your way to shooting your goal score.