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].

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