Putting is such a personal thing, that it is difficult to have one definitive lesson or process that fits all golfers. If there is one thing that players like myself have figured out is that a pre-shout routine is critical to being a consistent and effective on the green. And, as such, when I do not follow my proven process to the letter, I can tell by how I miss my putt. Can you?
My pre-shot routine is very simple and works all the time. That does not mean that I sink every putt, but I have a very low percentage of 3-putts (at least in my opinion). I currently have a 29.72 putts per round, so I figure that my putting stroke is fairly solid. Having provided the good news about my short game, lets not forget that I am an amateur and still prone to making mistakes.
I my particular case, when I start missing most putts long and left, I know that my pre-shot routine is breaking down. It might be that I am rushing the process or just setting up wrong, however long and left is bad news for me.
It is as if my I forget what I am doing on the green and need to rush everything to get to the next hole. This is all good when I am rolling the ball perfectly, but during routine rounds this is not always the case.
One of the other mistakes I make when my pre-shot routine is off is setting up my putter head in a close position. I do this with my irons from time to time as well, but it is very noticeable with the putter.
In the past I have tried several different set up routines, but always reverted back to a basic routine that is easily repeatable. I believe that any of my golf processes need to be basic and easy to follow. What is the point of having a complex routine where the simplest omission results in a miss hit. This does not make any sense to me, so it is the basics when putting that really helps keep my scores low.
The other challenge I have from time to time is hitting my putt short. This error is simply mental. I am not reacting the speed of the greens and am not thinking about how hard I need to hit the ball. My hitting the ball short I am omitting my two basic putting tenets: ensure my putter head follows through twice as far as I take it back and always get the ball past the hole. Generally, I am missing these two important factors if I am hitting the ball short.
Putting is a very personal thing. I am fortunate to have cues that point out when I am not following my pre-shot routine. As stated earlier, when I for some reason stop using this simple process, poor things happen. Well, in the future I hope I recognize my mistakes early enough to make the necessary changes.
Do you have visual cues to help when you are making putting mistakes?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links.
7 thoughts on “Where Do You Miss Your Putts?”
Jim, my typical miss is left and short. I may have found a solve in my last time out and need to battle test it over a round or two. Excited to try; stay tuned!
Let us know how your new solution works. I hope you start sinking putts from all over!
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A deep breath is the only pre-shout routine I need. 😂
I got out later than normal and tried to sneak in 18 today but they lock off 6 of the holes at 7 PM and I had to skip two of those to keep from getting locked out of the complex. So I had to settle for 16 holes. That was a first. But it was a good 16 and I ended at 3 under. My personal best though missing two holes takes something away. One double thanks to losing a ball off the tee in the deep rough with my first driver swing and 5 birdies.
With a score like that I’m sure you can imagine my putting was pretty good today. I was using my pre-shot routine of course. I actually have two routines for putting. The normal one, and one that I use only when I’m struggling. The latter routine is much faster and is meant to force me to “feel” the shot rather than think it. One or two holes using that shorter routine and I can usually feel better going back to the normal routine. I did that swap today in fact. After two birdies in a row, I missed a couple birdie chances by a balls width thanks to pushing and swapped routines to settle down. I played the shorter routine for two holes and had nice putts that still missed but were at least on line and I birdied the hole after that with the normal routine and that was a putt saved that I hadn’t counted on. I was 20 feet out.
This course is a little weird. Besides the weirdness of having 6 or our holes on land leased from out electric company adjacent to our complex some of the decisions on par are strange as well. The 17th plays 220 from the tips and it’s a par 3 on the card but the 18th is only 200 and it’s a par 4 on the card. That’s confused me to no end. Today the tee box was all the way in back and the wind was 15 mph in our faces so rather than try and push a 3 wood, I hit an soft driver on the longest par 3 and got myself a look at birdie (a 25 footer that broke maybe 3 feet and which I missed just short). The 18th hole I tried to drive with a 5 iron. I can’t quite reach the green with it, but it takes some trouble out and leaves me with just a short pitch onto the green. Usually. This time though I shanked it onto the 1st fairway. The only horrible swing of the day. But I recovered myself and hit a nice approach shot with my pw and gave myself one last look at birdie from maybe 15 feet behind the hole. I was 4 inches or so off the back on the fringe putting downhill and thought for sure I’d made it, but it slid just past so I got a par for my troubles. But considering I had shanked the drive. I was grateful just the same.
Sounds like you had an exciting round of golf for sure. Your course sounds like it is on the short side. How long is it?
I’m really not sure how long it is because far too many holes have distances I know to be wrong on the card. But short would be accurate. The card says it’s 4900 yards. But the course does have some teeth. Very tight fairways. Rough that is both thick and deep enough to hide your ball unless your standing right over it and on two holes the rough on the left is almost 4 feet high. There are ditches crossing fairways, a couple ponds. One we hit over and one lines the left side. And the sand in the traps are like sugar. I find it prepares me pretty well for when I venture out to the big courses like Bardmoor which is 6500 yards from the mens tee box. I got a round in there last week and the fairways looked inviting by comparison.
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Sounds like a fun course to play. And for sure, any golf is good golf for practice.