Golf Tip: Putting to Lower Scores

Putting is the cornerstone of low golf scores. There is no golfer, amateur or professional, who has not questioned, dissected, or overhauled their putting stroke. As a golfing fanatic, who is always trying to expand my golf knowledge, I like to ask golf questions to, well, anyone who will listen.

A couple of years ago, I penned a 5 part series on how to putt. It dealt with several different parts of golfing and I think they are still valid. If you are interested, click here to start at Part 1.

So, here was my question from a couple of days ago:

I have to say I was a bit surprised by the results. I have always been taught to roll the ball 8 inches past the hole. Putting 8 inches past the hole will make sure, more often than not, that the ball will drop, but not so fast as to stay out if the center of gravity of the ball is on the inside of the lip of the cup.

Putting is a tough skill to master in golf!

Putting is a tough skill to master in golf!

There are many different views on putting. The 17-inch rule by Dave Pelz has guided many amateur golfers through the years. Personally, I find hitting the ball almost 2 feet past the hole a bit too aggressive for my game.

Other pundits recommend that just dropping the ball in the cup is the way to go. I find that by trying to hit the ball so it just drops in, my putt generally ends up short. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but the yips become more of an issue when I am putting tentatively.

The consensus from my Twitter question suggests that dropping the ball in the hole is what works for most of the respondents. Ultimately, it is up to the player and what they find most comfortable. personally, I am sticking to putting the ball 8-inches past the hole.

I would be interested in what your preference is: past the hole or just in?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

8 thoughts on “Golf Tip: Putting to Lower Scores

  1. Jim,

    I am with Brian on this one with “whatever works for you”. However, I think in theory the idea of trying to roll it about 8 inches past is better and gives you a better chance to make more putts. On short putts I don’t think about that too much and just think about the bottom of the cup!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, awesome topic. I guess the answer is, “whatever works for you.” Personally, I aim at the hole. A couple years ago, I was struggling with my putts coming up short so I decided to aim for 18 inches past the hole. But my pea brain got confused because I had my 18″ target but couldn’t get the hole out of my mind’s eye as a target and quickly realized I was confusing myself with two targets. Now I stand equal distant between the ball and hole and make my practice strokes just feeling the distance to the hole. As a result, I’ve got a better feel for distance, especially on the longer putts, and have lowered my putts per round stats by over a stroke in the last year. Very interested to hear how other folks do it.

    Thanks and play well!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      It is interesting that you had trouble with the line. Use the same line as I would if he ball was about to drop in and just the ball a bit harder. Generally if I miss, I miss my line.

      I would be interested in what others have to say as well. Hopefully, some will chime in with their views. Thanks for dropping me a line.



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