If You Think Putting Is Not Important – Then Think Again

Putting is the great equalizer. It is the ultimately stroke saver and if you do not spend at least as much time putting as everything else, I suggest you re-evaluate your practice approach. I might sound a bit preachy or harsh at this moment, but putting really does change the entire dynamics of every golf round.

If you think that I am just blowing smoke, I actually have stats. This year I am averaging 29.75 putts a round or 1.65 putts a hole. When I shoot in the low 70s for an overall score, I putt in the 25-27 putt range. If I putt around 30-32 putts a round, I shoot in the mid to high 70s. So, you can see that I hit, on average, the same number of stokes getting to the green and my putting is the determining factor to my low golf scores.

A perfect example relates to my last two rounds. Two rounds ago I shot the worst round of the year (84 – 13 over) with 35 putts. Yesterday’s round I shot one of the lowest rounds of the year (73 – 2 over) with only 28 putts. That six stroke difference was because I was able to judge my speed extremely well and was left with a tap in for the second putt.

Putting is a tough skill to master in golf!

If you are doing the math, there are was a few stroke improvement on my second round. I can attribute this success to putting well that helped grow my confidence in ball striking. It really was an important factor to my lower over all score.

Any golfer looking to lower their handicap quickly realizes that they must first look at their short game. I recommend they start with putting and master their speed, then work on line. I am not about to get into the speed versus line debate, but I will say that both are important to become a great player.

Putting is critical to low golf scores. There is not substitute to a solid flat stick that you can rely on all the time. It is the foundation of a great golf game and if you are not focused on improving this area first, I suggest that you re-evaluate your approach.

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


8 thoughts on “If You Think Putting Is Not Important – Then Think Again

  1. Good subject Jim,
    had a round last week where a I had six one putts, and two more from just off the green, which were zero putts for the hole. All I need to do now is find the fairway off the tee !!!



  2. Jim, your sub 30 ppr is excellent. I am at 31.58 for 12 rounds on four different courses. I feel good with distance for my lag putts and am pretty good on the 3-footers but am struggling mightily with the 5-10 foot make-able birdie putts. Leaving a lot of good opportunities out there and don’t know what’s up. I can’t seem to start the ball on my intended line for that range or get the right read. I started experimenting with a right hand claw grip on the putting green and like it a lot. Haven’t put it into play yet. Also considering a putter fitting.

    All over the map right now. Keep up the good work with the flatstick!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Brian! When I struggle with 5 to 10 foot range, I forget the break and hit the ball straight at the pin. Once I am able to comfortably hit for distance, then I worry about break. This process helps me regain my confidence and I start to sink more. Good luck finding the right solution for your game.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree 100% Jim. Putting does not require club head speed or power. In fact, luck is good enough to one putt. I do think that practicing putting is important. But I do have 1 caveat – you like most members of a club play the same course over and over again. The green speeds are consistent. Do you s ore that low or putt that well when you play a different course ? The Pros generally play the same green speed each week. I think the US Open and Open Championship have different green speeds than the regular tour event. I do agree that putting is the score saver and great equalizer. Good post !!


    • Linley,

      I do play the same course all the time. As a member, it only makes sense. Adjusting to the speed of greens is a bit challenging, but because I have practiced my putting so much, I am able to do so fairly quickly. Especially if the practice green is the same speed as the course. Putting makes a huge difference and more amateurs should focus on that skill first.

      Cheers Jim


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