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Garry Rippy Golf offers golf lessons, golf coaching, golf instruction, golf classes and golf schools in Austin, TX. This blog contains golf instruction articles, golf tips and golf instruction videos by Garry Rippy, PGA.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Putting Practice

The PGA TOUR season is almost over and it is interesting to look at all the stats which are maintained.  Of particular interest to me is the average distance from the hole from 150-175 yards from the best players in the world.  I like to use this distance as I feel this would be an average 7 iron yardage for these professionals.  When I ask my students what they think is the average distance, I usually get a very low number such as 5-10 feet.  The actual average from the best players in the world from this distance is 27'8"!

We are used to watching these players on Sunday afternoon making one great shot after another.  What you have to remember is we are watching the best players that are "on" their game that particular week.  They are making it look easy.  We don't get to see the 70+ players that missed the cut. 

The point is, if the best players in the world are averaging 27'8" with a 7 iron in their hand, what are you averaging?  I am guessing the number is a bit more.  So what does this have to do with putting practice?

You should focus your putting practice on putts in the 30-50 foot range.  My recommendation is to place three targets at 30', 40' and 50' and practice putting to these targets.  I use three pieces of string about 6' long and place the string at the above measurements.  I tie the string to a tee at each end to secure on the putting surface.  I have my students putt 5-10 balls to each measurement.  Then, I have them mix it up.  They will putt one ball to the 30' string, then one to the 50' string and then one to the 40' string.  It doesn't matter which order you use, this drill is designed to increase your feel for distance control.

I have found that it helps to practice putting with just your dominate hand on the putter.  If you are right handed, then put your left hand behind your back and putt to these targets with just your right hand on the putter.  Your dominate hand is your accelerator, and your other hand is for support.  Think of tossing an object under handed to someone.  Obviously as the person moves further away from you, there is a bigger arm swing.  It is the same in putting, and by practicing to different targets, you are increasing your feel.  After hitting a fews putts with just one hand on the putter, place both hands on the putter and try to feel your dominate hand doing the work. 

You should also practice putts in the 3-4' range.  I recommend using three balls and find a level putt on the putting green.  Try to make all three balls from the north, south, east and west side of the hole.  Try to go at least three times around hole and see if you can make all 36 putts from this range.  It is harder than it sounds, but it will make these putts easier on the course!

So this is the long and short of it to becoming a better putter!

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