Putting is the Foundation to Improving your Golf Game

A solid golf game is consistent in three areas – hitting fairways, hitting greens in regulation, and putting. Continual issues in any of these areas can prohibit a high handicap golfer from elevating their game to shooting bogey golf.

Driving accuracy and hitting greens in regulation are important to scoring low. You can, however, miss fairways or greens and still recover through other areas of your game. Miss a fairway and still hit the green in regulation by hitting a good approach shot. Miss the green in regulation and salvage the hole with a nice chip or bunker shot.

Putting is not as forgiving. Good putting can help you score low on a hole or help you salvage a hole on which you have made mistakes. But there is no recovery from poor putting. By three putting a hole, you will either waste a great scoring opportunity or compound previous mistakes on a hole resulting in an unwanted score. Even if you hit the green in regulation, three putt and you’ll end up with a bogey. You need to take advantage of hitting greens in regulation by making pars and an occasional birdie. Pars are needed to offset the double bogeys or worst that you will score in your round.

High handicap golfers should work on eliminating three putts to move towards consistently shooting 90. The goal for high handicap golfers should be to make every putt within 15 feet. The probability of a high handicap golfer making putts outside of 15 feet is low. Lag putt every putt outside of 15 feet. Lag putting is putting the priority on leaving the ball within a few feet of the hole to insure making your second putt instead of trying to make the first putt. During time on the practice green, be sure to practice lag putting from 15 to 50 feet. As your golf game progresses and you hit more greens in regulation with your approach shot, you will be faced with longer putts than if you were chipping or pitching onto the green. Successful lag putting will be important to take advantage of hitting greens in regulation.

The other end of successful lag putting is making short putts. No matter how good your lag putting is, you still have too many three putts if you miss short second putts. Strive to make everything within three feet of the cup. Every time at the end of practicing your putting on the practice green, challenge yourself to make ten three footers in a row. If you miss one start over at zero. Work on a full follow through and avoid “stabbing” at the short putts. One of the most frustrating things in golf is to play a hole great and then miss a short putt at the end.

Make putting the strong point of your game no matter what level your game is at. Good putting can help you score low and can also bail you out of trouble. Three putts will lead to frustration. Reduce your number of three putts and see your golf game improve!

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