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)http://books.google.com/books?id=vEcU_8h0F4wC&dq=putting+reading+the+green&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Haultain, Arnold. "The Mystery of Golf." Macmillan Co. 1912. (March 22, 2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=G4cCAAAAYAAJ&dq=golf+putting&lr=&as_brr=3&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Hogan, Ben. "Power Golf." Simon and Schuster. 1990 (Reissue). (March 25, 2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=wUlXCk1vhZUC&dq=ben+hogan+"merely+rolling+the+ball"&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Morrice, Peter. "The Golf Magazine Putting Handbook." Lyons Press. 2000. (March 22, 2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=clIOh8LKhEwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=golf+putting&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- 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) http://books.google.com/books?id=dzpnoDcVDfIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=nicklaus+putting+my+way&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Palmer, Arnold and Dodson, James. "A Golfer's Life." Random House. 2000. (March 22, 2010)http://books.google.com/books?id=0frAO-e02x8C&dq=arnold+palmer+wrist+putt&as_brr=3&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Shoemaker, Fred and Hardy, Jo. "Extraordinary Putting: Transforming the Whole Game." Perigree. 2007. (March 22, 2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=CqFnDYi-WBcC&source=gbs_navlinks_s
- Throssell, Clark and Reicher, Zac. "Building a Backyard Putting Green." Purdue Turfgrass Science Program. January 1998. (March 22, 2010) http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/agry-98-01.pdf
- "Top Ten Putting Tips." Golfmagic.com. Oct. 10, 2001. (March 22, 2010) http://www.golfmagic.com/putting-tips/ten-top-putting-tips/2315.html
- Yocom, Guy. "My Shot: Billy Casper." Golf Digest. April 2005. (March 22, 2010)http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/myshot_gd0504
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