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.
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!