Experienced golfers know the saying; “Drive for show and putt for dough.” If you want to make par on every hole, your score will be based on how long the hole is plus the two putts you make on each green. A little calculating will bring you a world of joy. Par is always based on the two putts on each green and then reaching it in what is called “regulation”. This is just the prescribed number of shots that a golfer has to reach the green. Regulation can mean either one shot, two shots, or three shots depending on the length of the hole but putting always means just two shots on every hole. Putting eventually requires 36 total shots or half your game. It’s as simple as that. Master the putter and you’ve got half the game!
Nobody knows this simple calculation better than the touring professionals. Professional golfers only hit regulation to the green in about 12 out of 18 holes. If they are only hitting regulation in 12 out of 18 holes, how do they ever make par? The answer is simple. The professionals make par because they average only 30 putts per round instead of 36. For a touring professional, the average of missed greens are made up for by simply “putting like a professional”. The importance of putting then becomes quite obvious.
Besides just score, it is also important to see the potential for swing improvements in your short game. In terms of body mechanics, it is a lot easier to control a five-foot putt than to control a 300-yard drive. This is because the movement of the arms is much more exaggerated in a drive or an iron shot and this opens up the possibility for many more errors in the swing. The greatest potential improvements to a golfer’s swing take place on the green because there is less room for error in the movement of the arms. Just keeping your head still can result in a major improvement on the green. Even the pros can’t manage to reach every green in regulation so where do you think your improvements will likely come from? It’s going to be in the putting!
Here’s some good news to take with you as you make the decision to go out and improve your putting skills. Developing your putting and achieving lower scores can happen very fast. Once you combine your great putting skills with some improved chipping and pitching, the effect on your overall golf score will be amazing. You can start by watching how many putts you make on each hole and then increasing your practice time in between each round of golf. Watch yourself make those improvements and then watch your score drop faster than ever. Improved putting is the greatest joy to a golfer because the results always show up on the scorecard! Once you make the decision to improve your putting, the sky’s the limit. You’ll be putting for dough in no time!