Top 10 Putting Tips


Keep Telling Yourself You're no Different than Ben Crenshaw

Putting in the dark at St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland
Putting in the dark at St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland
David Cannon/Getty Images

You're probably going to have a hard time believing this, but statistical data gathered by Golf Research Associates, which analyzes golfers at all handicap levels, shows that at certain distances -- inside of 3 feet, 10 to 20 feet, and 50-plus feet (0.9, 3-to-6 and 15-plus meters) -- you probably putt as well as the best golfers on the planet. The distances that differentiate the guys who win the green jackets from the bogeymen are 4 to 10 feet and 21 to 50 feet (1.2 to 3 and 6.4 to 15.24 meters).

Statistically, a pro is likely to one-putt from the shorter distance, while you're more likely to two-putt, and the pro will two-putt the longer distance, while you'll probably need three strokes. So think of it this way: If you can shave a stroke off each of these distances, you're going to become a pretty good golfer. You're going to improve the most if you learn at the longer distance to get most of your lag putts. That is, ones that fall short -- within 3 feet (0.9 meters) of the hole [source: Alpenfels].

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Alpenfels, Eric; Heath, Cary and Christina, Bob. "Instinct Putting: Putt Your Best Using the Breakthrough, Science-Based Target Vision Putting Technique." Penguin Group. 2008. (March 22, 2010)
  • Haultain, Arnold. "The Mystery of Golf." Macmillan Co. 1912. (March 22, 2010)
  • Hogan, Ben. "Power Golf." Simon and Schuster. 1990 (Reissue). (March 25, 2010)"merely+rolling+the+ball"&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  • Morrice, Peter. "The Golf Magazine Putting Handbook." Lyons Press. 2000. (March 22, 2010)
  • Nicklaus, Jack and Bowden, Ken. "Putting My Way: A Lifetime's Worth of Tips from Golf's All-Time Greatest." John Wiley and Sons. 2009. (March 22, 2010)
  • Palmer, Arnold and Dodson, James. "A Golfer's Life." Random House. 2000. (March 22, 2010)
  • Shoemaker, Fred and Hardy, Jo. "Extraordinary Putting: Transforming the Whole Game." Perigree. 2007. (March 22, 2010)
  • Throssell, Clark and Reicher, Zac. "Building a Backyard Putting Green." Purdue Turfgrass Science Program. January 1998. (March 22, 2010)
  • "Top Ten Putting Tips." Oct. 10, 2001. (March 22, 2010)
  • Yocom, Guy. "My Shot: Billy Casper." Golf Digest. April 2005. (March 22, 2010)


How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap

How to Calculate Your Golf Handicap

Calculating your golf handicap is a fairly complicated task. Visit HowStuffWorks to learn about calculating your golf handicap.