How often do you step up to a 6-foot putt and expect to sink it? What about 10 feet? I always have great expectations of my putting but then I looked at the data from the PGA tour. They miss less putts than me, but to be fair, they don’t have wet, bobbly, winter greens to deal with on tour and to be fairer, they are much better putters than me. But by how much?
In order to get some data to see how I compare, I’m going to start recording my own putt stats. I’ll then have benchmark data to compare to the pros and measure my improvement, or lack of.
There’s a purpose to this data recording. It’s all about targeting my putting practice on where I could improve most and setting realistic goals and expectations.
If after a few rounds of data I discover that my first putts regularly get to within X feet of the hole on average, I’d better be excellent at X foot putts. And if I can consistently sink a 2-putt combination most of the time, I’ll eliminate most 3-putt shockers and may even sink the first one now and then. That’s the theory.
What are my chances?
I had a quick look at the PGA tour stats for the 2021 full season. Unfortunately, the LPGA don’t have such detailed data. PGA Tour pros pretty much sink 3-footers every time. I do pretty well at these by lining up with a PuttBANDIT but I’m sure I don’t sink 99%. The pros also get it really close on their first putt and usually past the hole. A quick review of their numbers is revealing.
2 foot 4 inches
There’s a stat called ‘Approach Putt Performance’ that uses a laser to measure the average distance to the hole (in feet) after the first putt. The PGA tour average in 2021 was 2’ 4”. As I don’t have a laser on me, on longer putts I’ll settle for a putter length or maybe 10% of a long putt distance.
However, if I can get my approach shot close to the pin, my putting scores should naturally get better. The following chart shows just how close the pros get.
Those are only averages across the entire 2021 tournament season. The top pros get it much closer on a good day, not so close when they miss the cut.
The other reason for recording my putting stats is to set some realistic, achievable goals. I have been known to set some pretty ambitious targets that put myself under pressure. Too much time spent watching golf highlights videos. So now I’m going keep it simple, sensible and focus on some basics:
- Get my drive on the fairway
- Get the approach on the green
- Master the 2-putt combination
If I can make progress on these realistic goals, I think I’ll be a better, happier golfer. That’s why I’m going to record more data. I’ll share it with you in the coming months.
Update on Quiet Eye
At the end of October I wrote a blog on trying out the Quiet Eye putting technique. It’s early days but I think the main improvement is on speed/distance judgement. I’m getting much closer and I’m less tense in the stroke. It might need a tweak for the short ones where line accuracy is a priority but my PuttBANDIT helps with that. Let’s see what happens.
Enjoy your golf (100%)
Do you record your putting stats? Let us know your 6 foot percentage in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Hart is a founding director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT Ball Marker and enthusiastic improver.
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