Putting Games to Lower Your Score

By Ryan Watson


Working on your putting is often the easiest way to shed strokes off your game. Unfortunately, few golfers truly enjoy hours spent on the practice green perfecting their swing. The addition of putting games to your practice routine is an easy way to get in the practie reps you need while still having fun. 

Croquet Golf

This game helps with visualizing your putts. Set up your ball for an 8-12 foot putt that is fairly straight. Halfway between your ball and the hole, place to ball markers just wide enough for a ball to roll through. Practice your putts to roll the ball between the markers and into the hole. This will help you align longer putts and save points on the course. The game can be played with others on a point system, with 1 point for making it through the markers and 2 points for also sinking the putt. 



This is a fun game when you have plenty of balls. Set up parallel lines of markers heading back farther from the hole. 2 golfers square off, with the objective being to sink their putts from the markers. Starting at the closest marker, the golfer must hit putts until he sinks the shot, then moves to the next farthest marker as they try and be the first golfer to climb the “ladder”. 



Pick 2 holes on the practice green to play your game. You will need at least 2 people to play this game. Everyone stands at one hole and aims for the other hole. Then each player attempts their putt. Putts made on the first shot are 3 points, 2-putts that lip out are 2 points, a regular 2-putt is 1 point, and a 3-putt is 0 points. For added fun, you can make a 4-putt worth -1 point. After each golfers sinks their putt, turn around and putt for the opposite hole. The winner is whoever makes it to exactly 21 points.


Gold Digger

A fun game to play for money, first scatter ball markers across the green. Then, tuck an agreed upon amount of money under each marker, generally a dollar. Then, each golfer starts at an agreed upon distance back from the scattered markers and takes their shot. If your ball hits one of the markers, the dollar is yours. Retrieve your prize and set up for another round until all the markers are hit. For an added bonus, have one especially difficult marker with an incresed prize for the golfers to aim win. 


Around the World

A fun game to play if your have a 3 or 4some, Around the World starts with each golfer starting at a different hole. The objective is to putt into the hole of the other player with each player putting an agreed direction (for example, everyone putts toward the player to their left). Each player will attempt their putt, with each made putt resulting in a point. If no one sinks their putt, repeat the game until they do. After someone makes it, the players rotate and try again. The first to 5 points wins. Alternatively, you can force a “playoff” whenever 2 or more players sink their putts on the same round. Those players now redo their putts with the golfer closest to the hole taking the point. 



This game practices power control. Take the flagstick out of the hole and place it a club length behind the hole perpendicular to where you are putting. Then lay out 3-5 balls starting close to the hole. The point is to either sink all your putts or for them to go past the hall and not hit the flagstaff acting as a tripwire. If you do accomplish this, then start another round a few yards farther back. If you come up short or hit the tripwire, start the round over. This game will help eliminate 3 putts from your game. 

About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.


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