Putting is the great equalizer. I know this because many of my scores were the result of great or poor putting. If you talk to any of your golfing friends, they will agree that the flat stick can change the fortunes of any round. Without taking detailed stats, it is a challenge to really understand how good (or poor) of a putter we actually are. Personally, I think and know that I am a better than average putter for my handicap, yet my confidence can be shaken with a couple of poor first putts. Knowing all of this, I have to remind myself to keep things in perspective before flying off the handle.
Before we start to beat ourselves up, I think that it is important to understand how the PGA Tour professionals fair up with their putters.
As an amateur, I can honestly say that my numbers drop off dramatically out side of four feet. I generally practice most of my putts under 10 feet because that is where I believe many of strokes in the past were lost. However, for players who are still building a foundation for their short game, I recommend moving your max practice distance in to six feet.
The reasoning for my recommendation is that most players will lag their longer putts or chipping inside six feet. Being able to confidently two putt our longer putts does wonders for our mental game and of course our scores.
It is hard to judge if we are putters; keeping detailed stats is one way, but I am confident that most of us will not take the effort to track the number of putts we make during a round. I have in the past and use the over / under point of 30 putts as my marker. It is important to remember that putting is only one, albeit critical, part of any golfers short game. But that is discussion for another day.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!