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Interesting... not heard of this technique before.


I have used rubber bands instead of toothpicks. But it is a good drill to work on center face contact

Thanks for the tip off on the Visio gates, I think I can cobble a 50mm gate together to start working with.

Wasn’t saying that you had to buy those gates. Just us some sleeves of balls, or anything that will deflect the ball if you hit the gate. Try to get something heavy enough that won’t move When the ball hits the side or you will spend a lot of time resetting your gate.

Also, uses different length strokes to ensure you can hit through the gate on a 5 foot and 20 foot putt.
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I agree with CNOSIL.  Start line was the key for me.  I spent the winter on a 10,000 putt challenge and my AH HA moment was when I found that being able to roll a ball down a 48 inch long 1 inch wide

It depends on the person.  For me I wanted to understand the putting stroke and how putter designs influence the strokes.  Basically all the nitty gritty stuff.  I found a good putting specific coach

There are a couple of online Strokes Gained Putting calculators.  All you need to enter is the first putt distance and the number of putts for each hole.  The baseline is the PGA Tour averages from Br

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20 hours ago, Grit Golf said:

SO - the ruler "test" is pretty revealing... It now makes complete sense why I miss almost all of my birdie putts.

I have a 2" wide x 48" club fitting ruler, and it's a real challenge to get from one end to the other without spilling off the side. This seems like a very sound place to start.

I'm guessing the ExPutt sim will smack you in the face with the same reality, just delivered in a prettier, more high tech way :). It'll be interesting to follow along w the forum reviewers on that one.

 

15 hours ago, cnosil said:

I would really work to get it lower;  I practice .5* of error.  

I bought a 36" ruler which is 1-1/8" wide, which initially I thought was a mistake 🤪. To roll the ball off the end, your start line has to be +/- 0.5 degrees which would sink putts in the 15-20 foot range. My goal is to roll 10 consecutive putts off the end of the ruler, it will show your miss tendency and whether a putter is a good fit really quick (the weakest performers got sold this winter). I believe it took 2-3 weeks when I first bought the ruler before I made 10 in a row, my record is 25. Now I make 10 in a row most days that I set time aside to putt, almost never on the first try though. Most effective training aid I have ever bought, I make significantly more 5-10 footers now.

This is also a good way to add some pressure into your practice, I missed a lot of putts on ball 9 and 10. It improved my short putting significantly more than the Putt Out system, but I still use that mat to put the ruler on. 

For long putts, work on 40, 20, and 60 footers in that order and get a sense of backstroke length for those distances to reduce 3 putts. Mix in ladder drills trying to land as many balls as you can between 2 distances and keep score for your highest total - again, to add pressure. 

The last aspect is improving wedge play around the greens (10-40 yards) so you get more putts within 6' to get up and down. 

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37 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

The last aspect is improving wedge play around the greens (10-40 yards) so you get more putts within 6' to get up and down. 

My less than 40 yard wedge stuff needs work for sure. I always thought my short game was pretty good, at least in comparison to the guys I play with (all mid/high handicaps), but Arccos was another eye opener for me.

With that said, I did see my "chipping" handicap (on arccos) drop over the last 2 rounds by just forcing myself to use the putter from the fringe/fairway. I've shaved more strokes by being smarter about what NOT to do, than getting better at what TO do on the golf course it seems.

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On 7/4/2020 at 5:13 PM, Grit Golf said:

What’s the best way to evaluate and improve putting?

Lessons? Fitting? Practice aids/greens?


What’s worked for those of you who have turned putting from a weakness to a strength?

I'll ask because I haven't seen anyone ask and it is how my mind works. What information are you using (stats etc.) that state you need to improve your putting? It might be for another thread but unless you are having 40+ putts a round improving your putting is not going to lower your scores drastically. 

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Any suggestions on how to improve green reading.  I've never thought that much about it and usually look at an imaginary line to the hole to help line up.  Lately, I've noticed more and more that I tend to over read the greens and putts.  You always hear about missing on the high side and I usually do, but by too much margin.  Could it be as simple as adjusting my read a ball or two less than normal?  

Interested to hear if anyone has any approaches that have worked for them regarding reading the greens?

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Any suggestions on how to improve green reading.  I've never thought that much about it and usually look at an imaginary line to the hole to help line up.  Lately, I've noticed more and more that I tend to over read the greens and putts.  You always hear about missing on the high side and I usually do, but by too much margin.  Could it be as simple as adjusting my read a ball or two less than normal?  
Interested to hear if anyone has any approaches that have worked for them regarding reading the greens?

Take an aimpoint class or at least learn how it works.

To get good at green reading you have to have a pretty solid mastery of startline and distance control. Unless you do, it becomes difficult to determine if the miss was read or stroke related. Green reading comes down to experience because you have to match up green speed, ball speed and break. This is why you need good foundational skills.
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25 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I'll ask because I haven't seen anyone ask and it is how my mind works. What information are you using (stats etc.) that state you need to improve your putting? It might be for another thread but unless you are having 40+ putts a round improving your putting is not going to lower your scores drastically. 

I created this thread so that anyone who needed to improve their putting could get some insight and help.

To your point, part of the thought process for anyone reading should be "how do I know if I need to improve my putting?"

For me, specifically, I think I need to improve my putting because:

  • Arccos putting handicap 25.7 (overall handicap 16, approach handicap 5)
  • 37.7 putts per round, 2.1 per hole, 2.3 per GIR (arccos)
  • I've had 3 3 putt bogies from 6 feet or less in my last 3 rounds (arccos)
  • I've actually carded 0 birdies in 3 rounds with a 37% GIR (thats 0/20 getting them to drop when it counts with the flat stick)
  • I 3+ putt on 22.2% of holes, and 1 putt on 13% of holes (arccos)

I've never seriously or 'with intent' tried to learn or practiced putting. I think I could move my handicap by 3-4 if I turned putting from a weakness into a strength.

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I probably can't add to what's already been said, but FWIW. To me putting is three skills - green reading, pace and stroke (starting putts on the intended line consistently). All three improve with practice - no way around it that I know of, I haven't used any training aids other than a (WellPutt) mat. I have a PuttOUT but I don't use it much. What works for me, may not apply to anyone else.

  • Green reading comes with experience.
    • Note green contours as you're approaching the green, you can sometimes see things more clearly from further away.
    • Go to school on others whenever possible.
    • Determine grade - up, down, level, ridges - read from the side if you don't know. Do this before your turn if at all possible.
    • Determine break(s), sight from behind of course. Sometimes you can't but do as much of what follows before your turn if possible. Some people value sighting from behind the hole too, I usually don't in the interest of pace of play. I don't use AimPoint, but you can feel a lot with your feet by taking your stance at the ball and stradling your line toward the hole if necessary - sometimes it's easier to feel than see. It may be unique to me, but breaks are usually almost twice what my eyes think they see, and I usually line up accordingly. If I line up with just what my eyes "see" I will be low every time.
  • Pace. Practice, practice, practice on representative greens before every round plus practice time.
    • My WellPutt mat has a stimp of about 10 which isn't far off the greens I often play, so it has some use for reinforcing pace.
    • Relax before you putt, and take a long smooth stroke back and through. When I think too much about pace I usually overreact short or long, better to let instinct/experience guide pace IMO.
    • Be a little bold with short putts (within 6 feet) so the ball doesn't wander off, trying to trickle it in can be iffy IME.
  • Stroke. Again relax and make a smooth stroke. All shoulder turn for me. If I let my wrists or arms get too involved (my swing thought is to keep wrists still), I'll open or close the face and start the ball off the intended line. I can't practice my alignment/stroke too often - key for me.
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29 minutes ago, Grit Golf said:

I created this thread so that anyone who needed to improve their putting could get some insight and help.

To your point, part of the thought process for anyone reading should be "how do I know if I need to improve my putting?"

For me, specifically, I think I need to improve my putting because:

  • Arccos putting handicap 25.7 (overall handicap 16, approach handicap 5)
  • 37.7 putts per round, 2.1 per hole, 2.3 per GIR (arccos)
  • I've had 3 3 putt bogies from 6 feet or less in my last 3 rounds (arccos)
  • I've actually carded 0 birdies in 3 rounds with a 37% GIR (thats 0/20 getting them to drop when it counts with the flat stick)
  • I 3+ putt on 22.2% of holes, and 1 putt on 13% of holes (arccos)

I've never seriously or 'with intent' tried to learn or practiced putting. I think I could move my handicap by 3-4 if I turned putting from a weakness into a strength.

Based on those #'s speed control is your biggest issue I'm guessing. So yes I would agree that speed could improve and would help lower your scores. But on the flip side of that you are hitting 6ish greens a round, what is first putt distance? I 3 putt about 2% of the time but I had 2 in my last round. Nothing to do with my putting as one was from 40 feet and the other was from 75. We all have limited time with our practice and devotion to the game. I was just trying to help make sure that you are on the right track. A lot of people practice putting when their time should be devoted to something else.

 

Side note, I tend to shy away from Arccos handicaps by breakdown as I believe that they are skewed, but to have an approach handicap of 5 while hitting 37% of greens is suspect to me. 

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16 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

 

It works.  Even if all you get is the PuttOUT trainer itself and a decent bit of carpet.  The mirror and gates are nice, but you can do almost as well with things you can buy at Home Depot.  The key is to buy something you're going to use.  It's made my daughters better putters as well.  If you become a better putter from 4 feet, you'll be a better putter from 40 feet as well.

If you're pressed for practice time, I'll suggest this - figure out the distance at which you start missing short putts, and the distance at which you start 3 putting.  Focus all your practice effort on moving those two distances out, even just a little.  When I see people practicing 15 footers, I just shake my head.  You don't make many of them (I think it's around 25%) and you don't three putt much (it's more than zero, but maybe a percent or two).  Meanwhile, if you could become markedly better from 4 feet and lag better from 40 feet (or wherever your problem points are), that will actually show up on your card.  

Also, give yourself a break.  Pros miss shorties and three-putt once in a while as well.  I've seen stats that they three-putt 10% of the time from 40 feet.  Don't beat yourself up.  Say this to yourself over and over:

"I hit a good putt, it just didn't go in"

 

After a long hiatus, I've been playing a lot of golf recently. Since courses opened up, I've been playing a lot more on full courses as opposed to par 3 and execs. I thought it would be the tee shots that give me problems, but instead it's been my putting that's really let me down. Like...really let me down.

My two most recent rounds had me shooting a 96 and a 104. When I shot a 96, I had 9 holes where I 3 putted or more (not just 3 putts, but 3 putts OR MORE!). When I shot 104, there were 11 holes with 3 putts or more. Interestingly and coincidentally, my brother in law got me the PuttOut practice system (sans mat) for my birthday.

I've been playing around with it since I got it yesterday, and the feedback is already pretty amazing. I know my putting path is not consistent at all, since I would hit either gate on the mirror. And my ball does not start online, since less than 50% of my putts get through the mini gate. Even at 6 ft, I've fewer than 20 that hit and held in the micro-target.

All in all, it is telling me what I know...that I am horrible at putting right now. Good news is that just practicing for less than 24 hours, it already made me aware of the glaring faults and there've been some improvements already. Just gotta keep at it I suppose...

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42 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Side note, I tend to shy away from Arccos handicaps by breakdown as I believe that they are skewed, but to have an approach handicap of 5 while hitting 37% of greens is suspect to me. 

I know what you mean, sometimes I wonder where they come from. What I will say is even though 37% GIR isn’t fantastic, if I have an iron in my hand I might not end up on the green, but I’m also not going to miss by much. My driver is a mess (working on that w a pro), so I’m teeing off on most par 4s with 5 or 6i and leaving myself 150+. It’s harder to hit greens from 150 out and I think arccos is considering that?

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30 minutes ago, Grit Golf said:

I know what you mean, sometimes I wonder where they come from. What I will say is even though 37% GIR isn’t fantastic, if I have an iron in my hand I might not end up on the green, but I’m also not going to miss by much. My driver is a mess (working on that w a pro), so I’m teeing off on most par 4s with 5 or 6i and leaving myself 150+. It’s harder to hit greens from 150 out and I think arccos is considering that?

That could be part of the reason yes.

I see you have mat and gates which is great. How much do you work on speed control? If I was teaching someone how to putt, I would focus on that first. Take 2 tees and set them 1 foot apart, start at 3 feet and try to get the ball to stop in between the tees. Each time you do, move back a foot for the next putt. Enhancing speed control will greatly reduce 3 putts. 

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4 hours ago, juspoole said:

Any suggestions on how to improve green reading.  I've never thought that much about it and usually look at an imaginary line to the hole to help line up.  Lately, I've noticed more and more that I tend to over read the greens and putts.  You always hear about missing on the high side and I usually do, but by too much margin.  Could it be as simple as adjusting my read a ball or two less than normal?  

Interested to hear if anyone has any approaches that have worked for them regarding reading the greens?

 

4 hours ago, cnosil said:


Take an aimpoint class or at least learn how it works.

To get good at green reading you have to have a pretty solid mastery of startline and distance control. Unless you do, it becomes difficult to determine if the miss was read or stroke related. Green reading comes down to experience because you have to match up green speed, ball speed and break. This is why you need good foundational skills.

I agree completely with @cnosil, try a couple of online Aimpoint videos, and then spend the money and take an in-person class.  It doesn't work for everyone, but most people can feel the slope, and with a little training can feel how steep the slope is.  If you can do that, you can learn to estimate the break pretty accurately.  I'll admit, I'd played close to 50 years before I took a class, and was previously skeptic, but now I'm a believer. And as @cnosil says, knowing the break does very little good if you can't hit your start line and get the correct distance.

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21 hours ago, Grit Golf said:

My less than 40 yard wedge stuff needs work for sure. I always thought my short game was pretty good, at least in comparison to the guys I play with (all mid/high handicaps), but Arccos was another eye opener for me.

With that said, I did see my "chipping" handicap (on arccos) drop over the last 2 rounds by just forcing myself to use the putter from the fringe/fairway. I've shaved more strokes by being smarter about what NOT to do, than getting better at what TO do on the golf course it seems.

A good target is to leave 10% of the distance to the hole from the previous shot, so 40 yard wedge to 4 yards (12 feet) and ideally less from a good lie. That goes down to 6 feet at 20 yards, which should be easy to test and monitor around a practice green. 

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21 hours ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I'll ask because I haven't seen anyone ask and it is how my mind works. What information are you using (stats etc.) that state you need to improve your putting? It might be for another thread but unless you are having 40+ putts a round improving your putting is not going to lower your scores drastically. 

I track total # of putts/round and I compared that to info from TheGrint app that averaged putts/round by handicap level. In Shot Scope the software breaks putts down by 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24, 24-30, and 30+ft so I can see make percentage and average leave distance by range. 
(https://mygolfspy.com/2016-report-overall-golfer-performance-by-handicap/)

Putting requires the least physical skill (strength, speed, coordination) of anything in golf, but green reading is definitely a separate skill that must be learnt and practiced. As long as your technique is repeatable, you can build a functional putting stroke even if it  isn't pretty. There isn't much reason that average putting numbers for a single digit player (32) shouldn't be a target for everyone considering those players hit more greens and will have longer first putts than someone that plays off 15 and hits 6 GIR with 12 chips from around the green. 

Unless you are averaging 30-32 putts per round there is room for improvement, but a lot of that relates to greenside wedge play and getting up and down at 40% or better. 35-36 putts should be the max along with two 3-putts per round (unless you hit 10+ GIR). Anything above 36 putts and you have the opportunity to knock ~5 shots off your score through better putting and wedge play. Hitting 10-40 yard wedges is the next easiest part of golf from a physical standpoint. 

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17 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

 

I agree completely with @cnosil, try a couple of online Aimpoint videos, and then spend the money and take an in-person class.  It doesn't work for everyone, but most people can feel the slope, and with a little training can feel how steep the slope is.  If you can do that, you can learn to estimate the break pretty accurately.  I'll admit, I'd played close to 50 years before I took a class, and was previously skeptic, but now I'm a believer. And as @cnosil says, knowing the break does very little good if you can't hit your start line and get the correct distance.

If nothing else, AimPoint has been a huge help on putts 6' and less. The read is very simple and gives you a confidence boost that you are picking the right target. There is minimal stress over those testy 4-6 footers. The new simplified read on double breakers is awesome as well. 

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20 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

I track total # of putts/round and I compared that to info from TheGrint app that averaged putts/round by handicap level. In Shot Scope the software breaks putts down by 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24, 24-30, and 30+ft so I can see make percentage and average leave distance by range. 
(https://mygolfspy.com/2016-report-overall-golfer-performance-by-handicap/)

Putting requires the least physical skill (strength, speed, coordination) of anything in golf, but green reading is definitely a separate skill that must be learnt and practiced. As long as your technique is repeatable, you can build a functional putting stroke even if it  isn't pretty. There isn't much reason that average putting numbers for a single digit player (32) shouldn't be a target for everyone considering those players hit more greens and will have longer first putts than someone that plays off 15 and hits 6 GIR with 12 chips from around the green. 

Unless you are averaging 30-32 putts per round there is room for improvement, but a lot of that relates to greenside wedge play and getting up and down at 40% or better. 35-36 putts should be the max along with two 3-putts per round (unless you hit 10+ GIR). Anything above 36 putts and you have the opportunity to knock ~5 shots off your score through better putting and wedge play. Hitting 10-40 yard wedges is the next easiest part of golf from a physical standpoint. 

Tracking total number of putts doesn't equate to much. My last 3 rounds 25, 33, 36 putts. Based on that I putted great one round, ok the second and bad on the third. In reality my putting didn't change. I hit the least amount of greens the first round (8) and the most the 3rd (15). 

The part in bold is exactly my point. HIT IT CLOSER TO THE HOLE. 

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Tracking total number of putts doesn't equate to much. My last 3 rounds 25, 33, 36 putts. Based on that I putted great one round, ok the second and bad on the third. In reality my putting didn't change. I hit the least amount of greens the first round (8) and the most the 3rd (15). 
The part in bold is exactly my point. HIT IT CLOSER TO THE HOLE. 

Exactly, i would jump for joy if i
had 36 putts and hit 18 greens. But if I hit every green and every approach shot inside 5 feet; yes unrealistic, but 2 putted every hole I would assess that as a bad putting day.

The only feasible way to evaluate your putting seems to be make percentage from specific distances and 3 putt avoidance.
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2 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Tracking total number of putts doesn't equate to much. My last 3 rounds 25, 33, 36 putts. Based on that I putted great one round, ok the second and bad on the third. In reality my putting didn't change. I hit the least amount of greens the first round (8) and the most the 3rd (15). 

The part in bold is exactly my point. HIT IT CLOSER TO THE HOLE. 

Fair enough and we are in agreement with that point on the value of putts per round. When you used 40 putts as the example I was a bit confused. As you could hit 18 GIR and still be giving up 5 strokes at 40 putts/round. That is why I mentioned a rough number unless you hit 10+ GIR, then 35/36 is reasonable. So shooting for 32 putts/round is an easy number instead of something like: Target putts/round = (GIR x 2) + (18 - GIR) x 1.5

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