Importance of Putting

By Bill Herrfeldt

You can see the value of a good putter by analyzing the typical golf course. For many courses, par--the standard number of strokes required for a good score--is 72. Each of the 18 holes requires one, two or three shots to get to the green, with two shots per hole for putting. That's exactly half of the total number of shots you need to make to have a par round. Furthermore, the best players in the game, the touring professionals, hit about 12 of the 18 greens in regulation, so they have to make up the difference with their putting. If you really want to lower your golf score, start today to become a better putter. Remember, a missed two-footer counts just the same as a drive pulled into the trees.

Keep Track Of Your Putts

Most people practice a lot on their long games with the hope that it will result in lower scores. Then they analyze those long shots after every round to isolate areas for improvement. Rather than do that, keep track of only the number of putts you make per round, and you will begin to see that your scores can be improved by simply making more putts.

Adopt The Fundamentals

Granted, good putters gravitate to putting styles that suit them, but most incorporate certain fundamentals into their styles. For example, good putters have a stance that is balanced and is stress-free, and most of them do not bend their wrists when they putt. Most of them also have their heads directly over the golf ball, and they are economical with both their back swing and follow-through. And above all, their bodies are steady throughout the putt.

All Greens Are Not The Same

If you're like most golfers, you will warm up before your round. While many players concentrate on their long game, few take the time to find out about the greens they're about to putt. Not only do greens differ from one course to the next, the greens where you normally play can change from one day to the next. At most golf courses, the practice green is similar to those on the course itself, and you will have a huge advantage if you know the speed of the greens and how much they will break.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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