Sinking An 80 Foot Putt

Anytime we hit the green there is an expectation that we have a chance to sink the putt. It really does not matter how far the putt has to travel to the pin, all golfers think there is a chance. I feel that most of the time I putt well regardless of the distance. Well, to be fair, the longer the putt, the less likely the chance I will make the putt. This fact is nothing new, but I think there is a certain aspect of putting that is often overlooked when dealing with long putts. It is not a secret, but I think many players forget to invoke the simple rule of long putting.

Arnold Palmer hit the nail on the head with the focus on putting is a make up of several things. Mostly, I think that experience drives my ability to putt. I have probably putted the ball over 20,000 times in my golfing career and each putt offers a bit knowledge that builds my wisdom. The natural gift is probably there, but that is something that critics can determine when I decide to hang up my sticks. Putting is the great equalizer and knowing how to apply our accumulative knowledge is an important key to success on the greens.

Other than working on my distance control through various drills, I really do not have any drills to improve my short game. Putting is one of those skills that requires constant attention to be considered a good putter. I understand that putting is a unique skill and every golfer must determine what works for them, but I have trick that will be helpful for every player!

Putting is a tough skill to master in golf!

That is my secret tip: hit the ball past the hole every time. Yup it is as simple as that. I guess it is a tip that be applied for every putt, but on 80 footers, it is critical. As my ball fell in the hole, on my first putt, on the first hole, it reminded me that hitting the ball past the hole is the most important factor of being a good putter. My words of wisdom about putting does not really go further than hitting the ball past the hole. As we all know, 100% of short putts do not go in.

Last Thursday I was playing Men’s Night with my regular crew at Mattawa Golf and Ski Course We were playing the first hole and we had an 80 foot putt for birdie. After watching my three team mates attempt to make the putt, I understood what I had to do to be successful. I had to make sure I hit my ball past the hole.

Image from Golf.com: https://golf.com/instruction/putting/scary-chart-make-putts/

As you can see, the longer the putt, the slightest deviation in the putter face will cause us to miss the putt. At 80 feet, I would estimate that .002 off center would cause us to miss either side of the cup. In my case, I was at 0° off center, thus my ball dropped because I hit the ball past the hole. So, my thoughts of hitting the ball past the hole all the time is key to great putting.

I am sure there are many other tips for hitting from a distance, but I will stick with mine. A putt cannot go in if it never makes it to the hole. Trust me on this; it is 100% true.

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

8 thoughts on “Sinking An 80 Foot Putt

  1. Jim, 80-footer is an awfully long putt. The green must be huge! Question on your thought process when trying to roll it past the hole. What is your target, a spot past the hole or a spot past your aiming point? Say you have a 20-footer that breaks two cups right to left. Are you sighting a spot 18″ behind the actual cup as an extension of the line the putt will curve on or a spot 18″ behind the aiming point right of the cup?

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      Great questions! I actually pick my line and hit to a spot one foot in front of my ball. Choosing my line includes hitting the ball 18″ past the hole. So, it is all factored in when I pick my line. It is a natural process now and works very well for me. As far as sinking the 80 foot putt, it was a lucky stroke, but I will take it.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

    • For me I’m still sighting the cup. I’m just making sure to do my mental arithmetic to take out some break. It’s not so much a matter of aiming past the hole but it’s a change from trying to die it into the hole to trying to hit the hole at speed.

      There are days that works so well it hard to imagine and then like the past week I lip out a ton. But lipping in my book is better than coming up short every time. I don’t miss as many today as I did when I started. I’m a bit more circumspect about it, but by being more aggressive with my putts I’m sinking them more often. I generally leave the pin in because it will stop the ball more often than it won’t and I see it as aiming small(er).

      We played for 6 months with the hole only half buried. A holed putt was just hitting the upraised cup. It taught me not to fear running past the hole. The run back can be played with just as much aggression and it will fall if you execute.

      As Scheffler and his partner found out the other day it will bring a three putt or two. But in general I’ve found that in my experience since we got real holes to putt to again it more than balances out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I believe I mentioned that just last week when I said I’d rather be 7 foot past than 5 feet short because at least the putt that went 7 feet past stood a chance.

    That said, when Burns blew his putt well past the hole earlier today leaving a longish + foot putt back for Scheffler, that showed another error. The return putt counts. Blowing past by 7 feet like I said is really too much past.

    So it’s a bit more nuanced than just getting it past the hole. Maybe we should word it “get it ‘just’ past the hole” and I should change my wording to “I’d rather be 3 feet past than 4 inches short”. lol

    I would also add this wisdom is just as important for chips and pitches around the green. Chipping around the green isn’t supposed to be thought of as “setting up an easy putt”. It’s supposed to be an attempt to hole out. That’s true for almost all of them. Only when there is trouble near the hole should we be thinking otherwise. Drop it, if you can. Be aggressive but don’t go crazy with it. There is a balance but like most things in golf, it’s easier to solve long than short.

    Not sure I mentioned it yesterday but they finally opened the back of the course up for play yesterday. One fairway in particular is still in bad shape. The tire tracks through the muddy ground made by those who rode left inch deep impressions everywhere and 3 of the five tee shots hit in our group plugged in the fairway. One so deep I almost stepped on it before I saw it while walking to mine which was halfway buried itself and I had hit a fairly low shot that time. BTW, I don’t begrudge them those carts. Most who use them here are old even compared to me or have health issues.

    And I regret taking the day off today. lol I feel better for it, but I had a hard time following through with it when our normal evening tee time came around. If I wasn’t addicted to the game before, moving to a complex with two free golf courses to play has surely done me in.

    Oh and a nice note. We had one man who was a little late getting there yesterday. A twosome came up to play just as his car was coming in. So we of course offered to let them go in front. We were playing a 5 some. But they declined saying they were new to the game and didn’t want to slow US down. Those guys were class. And they were right too. We last saw them on 6 while we were coming back in on 13. They really struggled. But they tried. And they had fun at it. They dressed for the occasion too. Haven’t seen garb like that except in black and while photos in ages. lol My first thought on their dress was I wonder if Rick will dress the part when playing with the hickories?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Agreed about chipping past the hole, but there are plenty of things to pay attention too when doing so. The main point of getting the ball past the hole is very important. You are correct that the group that waited were classy. You would have had to pass them on the second hole anyway, so waiting was definitely the right thing to do. Lastly, I know I am not ready to dress the part of a hickory golfer…..maybe next year. 😉

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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