Sugarloaf Golf Club (865) 924-1708

Putting and Scoring

If you were to ask me how do I quickly improve I would tell you distance. Statistics show that the further you hit it off the tee, the better chance you have of hitting greens in regulation, and the better chance of shooting lower scores. Improved contact and increased swing speed take time to improve so I think the fastest way to lower your handicap is to work on your short game.

Let me give you a few statistics before we go in depth with the importance of the short game. In 2018, the PGA Tour made just 52.8% of there 8 foot putts. If you had them step back just 2 feet, their average drops to 41% from 10 feet. Finally, they made 99.4% of putts inside 3 feet and as you can see in the chart below, they attempt a lot of 3 footers.

3 Feet and less133,591132,86399.4
5 Feet17,07213,98981.9
8 Feet9,9415,25852.8
10 Feet8,5043,49441.0

So what does this all mean? I have three key takeaways. It is extremely important to make your putts inside 3 feet, even the best golfers in the world miss putts, and you have a better chance at making a putt the closer it is to the hole. Keeping track of your total putts is good but I think if you focused on keeping track of the distance each putt was you will be able to get a better picture of where you need to focus your practice.

When you are practicing, focus on distance control, starting putts on the correct line, and putts inside 10 feet. If you just go to the putting green and hit the same 15 footer three times, what are you really working on? Your ability to correct your previous mistake? How many times in a round do you hit the same putt? Unless you’re playing a one-person scramble my guess is never.

So what should your practice look like? It should be based on your ability. By keeping accurate stats you will know what areas need more focus. If you make all your three footers, it wouldn’t be beneficial to spend majority of your time practicing those. You need to make you practice as game like as possible. I have included a sample practice plan on the following page for your reference.

This season we are holding Sunday Short Game School classes on Sundays from 10:00-11:30. I would highly recommend attending these classes if you want to improve your short game. If you want more information on our Sunday School or set up a 1 on 1 coaching program call the golf shop.

Sample Practice Putting Plan

(You should be going through your pre-shot routine on all putts)

Quick 30 minute Practice

5 minutes- Fundamentals Check

5 minutes- Start Line

Gate Drill

10 minutes- Distance Control

Leap Frog Drill

10 minutes-  Putts inside 10 feet

3,6,9 Around the World Drill

Hour Practice

5 minutes- Fundamentals Check

5 minutes- Start Line

Gate Drill

20 minutes- Distance Control

Leap Frog Drill- Multiple Directions

15 minutes- Putts inside 10 feet

3,6,9 Around the World Drill

Go around the circle, then move back. Repeat if time allows

15 minutes- Simulation

9 hole putting to random holes (1 ball)

Goal is to have less than 18 putts To make more challenging, pull back putt one putter length

One comment on “Putting and Scoring


Great point! Don’t think many golfers have realistic expectations when playing.


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