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What is Your Comfort Level When Standing Over a Putt?


seemoreputters

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42 minutes ago, cnosil said:

66 is a great round and 24 putts seems like a good number.   In that round, how do you know you didn’t have a 3 putt or miss a couple of 3 footers to offset the longer putts you statistically shouldn’t make?  You keep a lot of stats; is number of putts all you keep for putting?  
 

Oh you mean how strokes gained is computed.   What you see on tour is a comparison against the current field.  Systems like shotscope are calculated based on gathered data so you could compare against a tour player or against 10 handicappers.   A round I played a couple of weeks ago I had 32 putts, my strokes gained against a tour pro was +2.17 which means that based on the distances I had for my putts I putts 2 strokes better than a tour pro would average from those same distances.  You can also measure stroke gained for driving, approach, and short game  to help assess where you need to investigate for improvement.  

thanks, I will give it a try this season

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On 1/23/2023 at 9:39 AM, seemoreputters said:

Do you feel as if you are ever comfortable standing over a putt?  Do you have a confident feeling all the time, some of the time or never?  What is it that gets you to that comfort level if it is great?  It is amazing how much better one can putt when feeling comfortable over every putt.  The confidence grows in the putting stroke when this happens.  Appreciate your thoughts and input.

For many years, I had a great deal of confidence in my putting, and was very comfortable standing over MOST (not all, because there are always a few slippery downhill breaking putts) putts that I face.  However, I have had a couple of recent medium duration to long breaks from playing golf (two cancer surgeries in the last 6 months plus a 5 to 6 month layoff due to another serious health issue from late 2020 through mid-2021).  My putting performance took a real nosedive and poor putting has been a major contributor to horrible scoring, even in rounds where the rest of my game was quite good.

Prior to these three recent long breaks from playing golf, I considered myself to be a good putter, and my putting stats generally supported this, with an average of about 1.5 to 1.6 putts per hole, and a few great putting rounds with only 22 to 25 putts.  I had just gotten back to reasonably decent putting last summer when I had my back-to-back breaks from golf, with only three rounds between my two cancer surgeries.  After returning to golf less than a month ago, I have played 4 competitive 18-hole rounds, and my putting was so bad in the first three that I put the EVNROLL putter that I had used for 5 or 6 years until early 2022 back in my bag (I may change a lot of clubs in my bag, but rarely if ever change a putter that I like). I putted well with it last week and had a stretch of 13 holes where I shot -1 with a handful of one-putt greens. 

I hope that the putting performance that I had last Thursday will continue this week (I am playing a tour event at one of the top courses in NJ this Thursday, and it has notoriously fast and difficult greens). A couple weeks of good putting results will go a long way to restoring my confidence level when I am standing over my putts.

P. S. — I won some money with a T4 in my tour event last Thursday and that certainly helped with restoring my confidence, including confidence in my putting.

Edited by funkyjudge

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13 minutes ago, Jim Shaw said:

in my golf journey stats are very new to me as well. When I decided to commit to being the best I could be in my retirement years my coach said "without measuring how are you going to know what to work on?" good question I suppose but like you I pretty much know where my area of opportunity is. 

I think I posted the "everyone will do better hitting the ball as close to the green as possible instead of laying up to a yardage" quote, I heard in on XM radio on Hank Haney's old show when he was ripping Rory for laying up on a shot. Hanks said it was proven through shot link exactly what you said, anyway i started doing that and it has helped for sure, also I had to really learn 40-60 yard shots consistently. 

 

... I am just not an analytical player, or person for that matter. I am not even sure I have a left brain or maybe that side is blank. 🤪  Keeping stats would ruin my round. He!! having to actually write down scores is bad enough! 😇


 

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57 minutes ago, cnosil said:

66 is a great round and 24 putts seems like a good number.   In that round, how do you know you didn’t have a 3 putt or miss a couple of 3 footers to offset the longer putts you statistically shouldn’t make?  You keep a lot of stats; is number of putts all you keep for putting?  
 

Oh you mean how strokes gained is computed.   What you see on tour is a comparison against the current field.  Systems like shotscope are calculated based on gathered data so you could compare against a tour player or against 10 handicappers.   A round I played a couple of weeks ago I had 32 putts, my strokes gained against a tour pro was +2.17 which means that based on the distances I had for my putts I putts 2 strokes better than a tour pro would average from those same distances.  You can also measure stroke gained for driving, approach, and short game  to help assess where you need to investigate for improvement.  

I would certainly say that both 66 and 24 putts for an 18-hole round (particularly a tournament round) are great numbers! In 37+ years of playing golf, I have only shot in the 60s twice, and both times there were extenuating circumstances. The first time was on my par-70 home course where we generally played it as a par-69 by hitting from the forward tees on the shortest par-4; I shot 68 that day. The second time, there were 4 temporary tees and one temporary green and I shot 67 in that off-season winter round.

 I only recall having 25 or fewer putts a handful of times in my entire golfing life, and I estimate that I have probably played at least 1,800 to 2,000 rounds in that time. The fewest putts ever for me that I recorded was 22 putts for 18 holes, with a couple of chip-ins and one hole-out from about 8-10 yards off the green using my putter.

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Wedges - Edison 2.0, 53* and 57* (bent to 58*), KBS TGI 100

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5 minutes ago, funkyjudge said:

 I only recall having 25 or fewer putts a handful of times in my entire golfing life, and I estimate that I have probably played at least 1,800 to 2,000 rounds in that time. The fewest putts ever for me that I recorded was 22 putts for 18 holes, with a couple of chip-ins and one hole-out from about 8-10 yards off the green using my putter.

Kind of reiterated what I was saying, you had chip in and hole outs from off the green so 0 putts in the total putt column.  IMO total putts isn’t a number that can be standalone and needs some further definition like greens hit.  

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22 hours ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

100% Confidence.

I totally agree. Lots of difference techniques but one underling thread = confidence. I didn't realize how much it mattered til I went through my lesson and now practicing the drills my instructor gave me. I now practice everyday - hitting 40 balls from different positions around the pin on the practice green. 

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On 2/20/2023 at 4:14 PM, GolfSpy_APH said:

100% Confidence.

3 hours ago, tony@CIC said:

I totally agree. Lots of difference techniques but one underling thread = confidence. 

Do the pre shot routine, and once set, relax and let swing.  The body knows what the body can do, let it do it its thing and keep your brain from getting in its way.  No different from walking or running  Where would we be if we had to think about doing those things all the time when we are doing them?

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While my putting stats have declined somewhat, I still feel as confident as ever over any putt because I practice all the time and putt with every intention of making it from any range. It doesn't mean I'm always successful but I like to putt as though I have never failed.

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On 2/21/2023 at 9:19 AM, cnosil said:

I am not sure what you consider a great round, but I would think low to mid 20s count in putting is probably related more to good approach shots or really terrible approach shots and good short game shots that put you into makable range.   Like i said, I will take 36 putts and 18 greens hit and consider that a great round because I just shot even par.  If I miss all 18 greens and have 28 putts I probably have a short game or putting problem so I’d need to know more about those metrics.  I just don’t see how putt count without some other qualifying information can tell you anything about your putting ability.   How do you separate the  number of putts from other aspects of your game to ensure you are only measuring putting ability?

I currently use shotscope to measure my strokes gained. It there are various other free tools available online that you can find with a quick google search.   

To add onto this, the course you play is another factor that could affect the number of putts.

Course design: Are you playing a course that forces you to play a bit more conservative? If so, you might be deliberately landing your ball right off the green or just on but away from the high-risk, high-reward pin placement. Are you playing a course that has more challenging tee shots and fairways but greens that you can be far more aggressive with? If so, you might be landing the ball closer to the pin. 

 

Green speed: Are you playing a course with green speeds that are similar to what you normally play? If yes, you might get into your comfort zone sooner than a course where you're not fully used to or comfortable with the pace of your putts. It could also really affect how well you lag putt. 

 

Green contours: There are some nasty courses out there that are designed to hurt those that can't read slopes. If you have a course with several heavy-sloping greens or a multi-tier greens, that could affect your putting numbers. This could really affect the number of putts depending on how accurate you are with your irons and wedges (aka, how consistently you can get on the right tier/approach point and avoid the nastier aspects of the putt). 

 
As cnosil said, there's just a lot of different factors that affect putting, which makes it hard to just say XX putts per round is great and XX putts per round is crap. 

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Many moons ago, as a single man, living alone, miles from family and friends, I spent an entire day on the putting green. I had breakfast in the clubhouse then I just putted until I got hungry again. Then I putted some more. I didn’t do any drills and had no technical thoughts. I just tried to make putts. Or lag putts close. Experimented with making the same putt at different speeds and start lines. I went home that night and I felt like I was going to make every putt I looked at the next time I played. I didn’t. But boy did I believe it. Every putt went where I intended. Even though that wasn’t always the hole. 
Ever since that day putting has been a way more natural thing for me. I have days where I think I need technology to help me sink a few more and days where I think I’d be alright with an old Bullseye. 
I think confidence over a putt comes from familiarity with the thing in your hand. Little else. 

MW

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/1/2023 at 4:30 PM, MWLEFTY said:

Many moons ago, as a single man, living alone, miles from family and friends, I spent an entire day on the putting green. I had breakfast in the clubhouse then I just putted until I got hungry again. Then I putted some more. I didn’t do any drills and had no technical thoughts. I just tried to make putts. Or lag putts close. Experimented with making the same putt at different speeds and start lines. I went home that night and I felt like I was going to make every putt I looked at the next time I played. I didn’t. But boy did I believe it. Every putt went where I intended. Even though that wasn’t always the hole. 
Ever since that day putting has been a way more natural thing for me. I have days where I think I need technology to help me sink a few more and days where I think I’d be alright with an old Bullseye. 
I think confidence over a putt comes from familiarity with the thing in your hand. Little else. 

Confidence in putting goes a long way.  Nice post here.  When walking up to the green to make your putt you have to be positive not negative.  Seems to be easy to think this but hear so many that do not think in a positive way when it comes to putting.  

Any SeeMore putter

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1 hour ago, seemoreputters said:

Confidence in putting goes a long way.  Nice post here.  When walking up to the green to make your putt you have to be positive not negative.  Seems to be easy to think this but hear so many that do not think in a positive way when it comes to putting.  

Great point about "walking up to the green" and all that entails, positive thoughts are good and I try and get a good feel of my putt while I am walking up and see the break etc. lots of good information can be gathered on the walk to the green.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When standing over a putt, a golfer's comfort level is influenced by various factors, such as experience, skills, and mindset. However, there are some helpful tips that can improve your comfort level when putting. Practicing regularly can increase confidence and reduce anxiety. Moreover, incorporating breathing techniques and visualization can calm your nerves and improve your mindset. Also, using proper equipment, such as a putter that fits your putting style, can enhance your comfort level. Don't forget to carry cooler bags to keep yourself hydrated and refreshed during your round.

Edited by Jill Norris
Improving clarity and coherence
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/21/2023 at 9:24 AM, Jim Shaw said:

Great point about "walking up to the green" and all that entails, positive thoughts are good and I try and get a good feel of my putt while I am walking up and see the break etc. lots of good information can be gathered on the walk to the green.

This is a great point. Too many people, pros included, wait to try and "read" a putt until they're right up on it.  The best way to see the relative break from a ball (side to side and vertical elevation) to the hole is when 50-100 yards away from the ball when you're walking up the fairway after your approach shot, or at worst, when you're leaving the cart path and walking to the green.  

As for putting overall, I think that's very much a feel / confidence thing.  Part of that is comfort with your equipment and part of that is confidence in your abilities.  However, I find it best for me to walk up to the ball (of course already having some idea of the break and speed from the distance to the hole as mentioned above).  Having that already processed as I get to the ball, I can generally make a good educated guess on line and pace and send the ball within a few seconds of getting set next to the ball.  I can say that I do a lot better when greens are smooth and fast than I do on slow / bumpy greens, because my eyes estimate speed better on greens running 11-13 better than they do 8-9 by a huge margin for some reason.  Maybe it was the 2 years of golf out in Lubbock, TX where the greens in the summers were as hard as parking lots (and as fast, even if they weren't smooth).

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... I don't think we have covered one of the most important elements of a repeatable putting stroke is shaft length and putting stance. I cover that in my latest Tip Of The Day.
 

 

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It honestly depends on the day, but most of the time I'm scared to death if I have a 3-4 footer and that's just because I have no confidence my stroke will be the same each time!

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39 minutes ago, jj1010 said:

It honestly depends on the day, but most of the time I'm scared to death if I have a 3-4 footer and that's just because I have no confidence my stroke will be the same each time!

Confidence comes from repetition.  If you have putter that fits you and your stroke like @chisag stated, then it all comes down to spending the time on the putting green.  Like anything else in golf, hitting the putting green for 5 minutes before a round doesn't count.  Gaining confidence means putting every day for weeks with some pressure on your stroke.  

Allot a set amount of time... like 10 minutes and putt those 3-4 footers and record how many you can make in a row.  Find a hole with a little break but start with putts that are straight.  If you feel comfortable with straight putts, the next session move to the other side of the hole; repeat.  Then move 90º and putt breaking putts L2R and R2L. This is NOT putting one ball right after the other.  Go through your alignment and setup for each putt; 3-4 footers are not gimmes and the goal is not to see how many total putts you can make in 10 minutes!!   Each day try to better your previous day's number in a row.  After a week of this, your stroke should be more repeatable, and you will be more confident when on the course.

Improvement comes from putting in the work.

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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It all depends on the last hole - If I made the putt I'm pretty confident but if I missed a short putts - I'm overthinking it on the next hole. 

Left Hand orientation

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My confidence level is always 50-50.   A stroke will either be good or not, the ball will either drop into the hole or not, we only have half the hole to play with using a line and speed we judged correctly, or not.  

 

Good hand action comes from good body action.     

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1 hour ago, jj1010 said:

It honestly depends on the day, but most of the time I'm scared to death if I have a 3-4 footer and that's just because I have no confidence my stroke will be the same each time!

Go to the basics and remove as much movement in your body as possible.  Do it at home standing on a carpet without a ball.  Everything waist down should not move.  Everything from shoulders to clubhead should not move.  Only motion should be shoulders around the spine.  Think of a grandfather clock how it stands there not impressively doing more than not moving except for the pendulum going back and forth.  The pendulum is fixed and doesn't wiggle, just an easy back and forth motion.  My eyes actually follow the clubhead which is why I prefer a mallet design with the longest line so I can see if it is going in a straight line against the background blur of the carpet or grass.  The ball is only important for contact at the leading edge of the alignment line.  Speed of putt is about the amount of backswing that dictates the speed of the clubhead going forward.  Then add a ball and see how it reacts to contact with your putter swing and adjust contact not the swing.

Practice practice practice until it feels wrong to putt any other way.

Derek 🖌️ Verified Hack, ~21 handicap 🙂  Golf for exercise and peace of mind.  ⛳

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2 minutes ago, EasyPutter said:

 Only motion should be shoulders around the spine. 

That is one way to putt.  Some players are right arm driven (Tiger), some are left arm driven (Stockton), some are arms with passive shoulders (utley), and some are shoulders.  David Edel in his videos had two categories: radial (shoulder driven) and linear (arm driven) and indicated most professionals are linear.   Some would frown at your watching the putter with your eyes.  Some want equal back and forward swing, others want long back short through, and others short back long through.  
 
the goal is to find the setup and source of power that facilitates starting the ball on your intended with desired speed.  

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
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17 hours ago, Delaware Joe said:

I have a lot more confidence on longer putts, anything 10’ plus. But give me a 6 footer or closer and I am a wreck!!

the same for me, the closer to the hole the more stressed I am.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/26/2023 at 10:04 AM, EasyPutter said:

Go to the basics and remove as much movement in your body as possible.  Do it at home standing on a carpet without a ball.  Everything waist down should not move.  Everything from shoulders to clubhead should not move.  Only motion should be shoulders around the spine.  Think of a grandfather clock how it stands there not impressively doing more than not moving except for the pendulum going back and forth.  The pendulum is fixed and doesn't wiggle, just an easy back and forth motion.  My eyes actually follow the clubhead which is why I prefer a mallet design with the longest line so I can see if it is going in a straight line against the background blur of the carpet or grass.  The ball is only important for contact at the leading edge of the alignment line.  Speed of putt is about the amount of backswing that dictates the speed of the clubhead going forward.  Then add a ball and see how it reacts to contact with your putter swing and adjust contact not the swing.

Practice practice practice until it feels wrong to putt any other way.

I thought I would update this. My putting has been much better these last couple rounds. I spent more time on the putting green than I have the past 5 years and figured out I was standing to close to the ball and that I was too obsessed with the line being perfect and that was throwing off my putting stroke. I now use the line on the ball more for determining if my putter face is straight and that has made a world of difference. The other thing that I found that since I changed to a new super stroke wristlock grip I needed more forward shaft lean in order for it to roll straight! Hopefully some of this can help other people who were struggling like I was. 

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Watch a tip from online from Greg Chambers which I been using. He says stand over the ball and get ready to putt and read the line first before marking the ball    Cause when I try to read from behind the ball it might not match what I feel when I stand over the ball. 
Worse thing would be indecisive when standing over the putt thinking it’s going to move one way and then standing over and feeling the opposite 

Edited by Haro
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  • 2 weeks later...

It’s the one club in my bag that I believe the ball will go in the hole with every time

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Right Handed 

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On 2/21/2023 at 8:00 AM, cnosil said:

IMO, by itself number of putts doesn’t really tell you anything.  Is 36 good or bad?  If I caveat that with I hit every green would that change the perception of 36?  Feet of putts made can be deceiving if you make a really long putt since it could artificially inflate the number.   I think strokes gained, 3 putt avoidance,  and putts missed inside of 3 feet are better measures of putting success.  

Totally agree @cnosil - last year I had high putting confidence, but based on data it was because my approach play resulted in lots of chips which bailed out my approach stats and putting strokes gained  (to some degree). Hard work over the winter has me hitting nearly 50% more girs (28% last year to 41% now), but my putting strokes gained is now officially awful. I’m routinely facing 15-30 foot putts, which is actually not bad from SG point of view at my cap, but my putting sucks in this scenario.  So your three criteria are exactly what I’m working on now - since it has become the biggest driver of my scoring opportunities this year. Golf is such a strange game at times - every improvement seems destined to only provide better focus on the remaining weaknesses 😆😆.

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Putting is very specific to the individual. Play ball forward in stance, middle of stance, slightly back in stance, slightly open stance, slightly closed stance and what type of putter being used. The variables also include what ball you play, left hand low, palms facing each other and so on and so forth. 

Now for myself, first rule of thumb is distance control. If I can't get the ball to the hole then everything else is moot and 3 putts are the discovery of the day. 

Second, follow a pre-stroke pattern.

Third, focus/concentrate on making your stroke. Keep your head still !!

 

 

Total Callaway bag - except putter

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