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At What Length are you Trying to Hole A Putt?


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I try to make everything, dying it into the hole. What should I reasonably expect to make? That's the good question. I was going over this with my pro. We all know 8 foot is the 50% mark for the PGA. Well we're not PGA, I'm a 4. So what is the break-even point? It's between 4-5 feet. That's what I should reasonably expect to make.

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11 minutes ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

I try to make everything, dying it into the hole. What should I reasonably expect to make? That's the good question. I was going over this with my pro. We all know 8 foot is the 50% mark for the PGA. Well we're not PGA, I'm a 4. So what is the break-even point? It's between 4-5 feet. That's what I should reasonably expect to make.

Yeah, trying to make and expecting to make are two vastly different things.  I know at least one 15-handicapper who gets disgusted when he misses a 20-footer by an inch.  But he's a doofus.

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I try all putts inside 20 feet. Mainly because that's where my par scrambles end up. I also feel it's reasonable. I don't practice my putting at all, so it gets dicey at times when I have a misread

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1 hour ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

I try to make everything, dying it into the hole. What should I reasonably expect to make? That's the good question. I was going over this with my pro. We all know 8 foot is the 50% mark for the PGA. Well we're not PGA, I'm a 4. So what is the break-even point? It's between 4-5 feet. That's what I should reasonably expect to make.

I’ll disagree with you a little,  putting is probably the one place that we can come close to matching a pros performance.  Obviously it does require practice so if you don’t practice you 4-5 for range might be acceptable. 

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Yeah, trying to make and expecting to make are two vastly different things.  I know at least one 15-handicapper who gets disgusted when he misses a 20-footer by an inch.  But he's a doofus.

you know my brother in law?

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9 minutes ago, Chip Strokes said:

you know my brother in law?

If he's a retired airline pilot living in Virginia, maybe I do.

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4 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm just picking this one because it seems representative of many.  No matter how good you are, you're always going to have some variation in distance.  You'll hit some longer than you intend to, and some shorter.  That variability, the size of your "scatter pattern" will increase with increasing length of putt.  I used 10% of the length of the putt in my earlier post, I think that's a reasonable goal for most of us.  

 

Dave, I understand what you're saying.  If one doesn't have reasonable control of distance when putting, they're going to leave it short or go long regardless of whether the target is 4.25 inch circle or a 3 foot circle....this is exactly why I spend a lot of my putting practice focusing solely on distance control and not how many times I can putt a ball into a hole standing in the same spot like I see so many recreational players do.  Does this mean that I will always hit my putt at the correct speed?  Of course not.   I'm still focusing on hitting the ball the correct distance as you are with your 10% rule or someone putting using the 3 foot radius concept.  Generally, I have pretty good control and end up with a reasonable next putt.  Sometimes I hit it too soft or too hard and I walk away with that 3 putt.  So do those that putt to a 3 foot circle.  

For me (and I emphasize "for me"), narrowing my focus to a smaller point helps me focus better than just having a general area to finish.  When I practice putting, I choose to putt to hit a tee peg.  When I am chipping, I pick out a spot where I'd like the ball to land and focus on that.  When I stand on the tee box or am hitting to the green, I choose a landing area rather than accepting the entire fairway or the entire green as my acceptable place to land.  I realize that I'm not going to hit those points every time, or even a small percentage of times.  However, my choosing a smaller place to focus, I am able to increase my percentage of the end result being reasonably close to what I was looking to achieve.

Should you expect to make every putt?  No, but focusing to try to make every putt is very reasonable (again, to me).

The only putt that I expect to make EVERY time is the one where my opponent said "that's good"!!!!  

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4 hours ago, cnosil said:

I’ll disagree with you a little,  putting is probably the one place that we can come close to matching a pros performance.  Obviously it does require practice so if you don’t practice you 4-5 for range might be acceptable. 

No need to disagree, I follow the logic. We can't hit it 320, but with practice we can scrape it around with the best of them.

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All of them!!

I try to make everything, but the key is to leave the next putt in the 2 foot range….why would you not try to make them all?

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So, what if the practice green rolls waaay faster than on the course?  Seems counterintuitive to practice on something that is not the same as what you are going to play on?

 

Sure. The technique practice is invaluable, but warming up pre round?  I think that would cause me more issues than it would help.

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22 minutes ago, Shankster said:

So, what if the practice green rolls waaay faster than on the course?  Seems counterintuitive to practice on something that is not the same as what you are going to play on?

 

Sure. The technique practice is invaluable, but warming up pre round?  I think that would cause me more issues than it would help.

Simple. You know how far a ball rolls if you take the putter back to inside of trail foot and have normal follow thru, same if you take it to mid foot or outside of foot. Now when you get on the course you adjust length based on speed of greens. 

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29 minutes ago, Shankster said:

So, what if the practice green rolls waaay faster than on the course?  Seems counterintuitive to practice on something that is not the same as what you are going to play on?

 

Sure. The technique practice is invaluable, but warming up pre round?  I think that would cause me more issues than it would help.

Same with varying green speeds while on the course.  Greens roll different speeds based on time of day and sun exposure.     Doesn't always work,  but you roll it on the practice green to hope you get your speed dialed in with what the course is playing; verifies the feels for the day.  

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That was just hypothetical.  I haven’t taken a single warm up shot/putt and only like 3 practice swings since May.

Ive never been much for warm up putts.  Never enjoyed that part of the game, but as the pieces come together, I need to figure out how to maximize my efforts on the green.

Have been putting in a little practice, but not in the areas I need to focus on.  30 minutes from the range, and completely our of the way makes it difficult to set aside the time.

That’s why I am looking forward to that simulator.  Practice every day on full shots. I could hit up to a full 58° without losing a ball out in the yard.

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On 7/28/2021 at 5:59 PM, Shankster said:

I’d first like to thank @cnosil for showing me the Manalo golf Instagram account.  I got about 2 hours worth of laughs in, some of his stuff is a little over the top, but over all has some pretty good basic information, and some ok entertainment.  Haha.

One of his tips was to make a 3’ hole around the stick to aim your longer putts.  I used to to this, but have since moved to trying to hole this long putts.  I usually overshoot them and have a long comebacker…

 

Last round, anything over 15’ I used that method again, and it seemed to leave me in a lot better spot. At what point do you aim to hole the putt?  Obviously, we would all like to do this every time. 
 

Do you have a distance where you really lock in?

Although I read and line up every putt like I intend for it to go in, I'm not REALLY trying to hole a putt until I get inside of 10'. Through my practice routine I feel like my confident make distance is 6'. That's where my make rate is above 50% in practice.

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This is interesting.  I feel like putting is so mental already and I can certainly attest to trying the smallest mental changes and seeing real differences.  

I am a good, but not great putter.  I feel as though, my green reading is fair and my distance control is usually pretty good.  However, I definitely don't feel I make as many putts as I should.  Lately, I've probably been focused too much on line rather than let's make this. 

It's probably 20' and in for me that I think I have a chance to make it if I put a good stroke and read to it.

9 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Simple. You know how far a ball rolls if you take the putter back to inside of trail foot and have normal follow thru, same if you take it to mid foot or outside of foot. Now when you get on the course you adjust length based on speed of greens. 

This is the method I use for speed control as well and it's been huge for my distance the past few years.  Once I get past around 50', it's a bit tougher to distinguish, but agree this is a good and reliable method to use if you can get your tempo on track.

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There's a lot of "it depends" with this answer. 

If I am putting with the normal amount of 'feel' that day & there isn't a crazy amount of break then 15' is about where I am disappointed if it doesn't go in and not surprised if it does go in.  

If I am having a bad day figuring out the speed or my stroke is off or trouble reading grain and break that distance will come down to 5'.

Even on a good putting day when the cup looks like a basketball hoop 15' would be the max.

I have straight putt marks on my putting green marked at 5', 10', 15' & 20' and I regularly hit putts from each spot.  When really concentrating I can stay above 50% up to the 15' mark but drop off to about 20% at the 20' mark.

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Realistically anything inside of 15 feet I am trying to drain. At 50 feet I try to put it within a 3 foot circle. Tends to relax forearms and promote a better stroke.

Using Cure CX3 putter

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48 minutes ago, juspoole said:

This is interesting.  I feel like putting is so mental already and I can certainly attest to trying the smallest mental changes and seeing real differences.  

I am a good, but not great putter.  I feel as though, my green reading is fair and my distance control is usually pretty good.  However, I definitely don't feel I make as many putts as I should.  Lately, I've probably been focused too much on line rather than let's make this. 

It's probably 20' and in for me that I think I have a chance to make it if I put a good stroke and read to it.

This is the method I use for speed control as well and it's been huge for my distance the past few years.  Once I get past around 50', it's a bit tougher to distinguish, but agree this is a good and reliable method to use if you can get your tempo on track.

You have to practice making putts as much as you do practice speed and line. When I had dedicated time to short game back in 2015/16 the instructor I went two had me doing two drills with a goal for each drill.

For distance and speed it was set a 3’ putting circle around a hole and place 5 balls in line starting at 8’ then go out 4’ for each ball and use 4 locations are kind the hole so 8,12,16,20, 24’ at 12,3,6,9 oclock, goal was to have 10 balls inside the circle. The other was 2 balls in same clock positions with one ball at 4’ and the other at 5w’. Goal was to make 6 of 8 putts 

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Just now, PJVicary said:

Realistically anything inside of 15 feet I am trying to drain. At 50 feet I try to put it within a 3 foot circle. Tends to relax forearms and promote a better stroke. Good putting comes with confidence and confidence through practice. 

B360222A-EEFD-4A50-8312-5E197A98E518.jpeg.f01fa0dfdacc71bc1cdf8e9c005d61da.jpeg

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11 hours ago, Shankster said:

So, what if the practice green rolls waaay faster than on the course?  Seems counterintuitive to practice on something that is not the same as what you are going to play on?

 

Sure. The technique practice is invaluable, but warming up pre round?  I think that would cause me more issues than it would help.

Lol you got that right. I don't know how many times I've gone to practice putt and the practice green is wildly different speed then the course.

However, I find that's it's easier to have to hit putts harder once I get on the course. So I have a BirdieBall mat that's supposed to be between 9-11 stimp. My course is probably 6 or 7, and like 4 if there's dew. 

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