|Marc Solomon's putting game can have closer to the pin with a little practice. (.)|
Noted golf instructor and columnist, Marc Solomon offers golf tips for GolfInstruction.com readers on all aspects of the game.
What is the median length of your first putt? Meaning: If you miss a green, how long is your putt for par going to be? And how realistic are the chances you make it?
Here's a putting drill that will help you find that out:
• Find two holes (or if you can't find holes, place two tees) on a practice green that are in different directions and are different distances (though have one target being at least 10 yards onto the green and the other target being 15 yards onto the green).
• Use 15 balls from three yards off the green and alternately hit to each target (first ball to short target, second ball to far target, third ball short, fourth ball far, etc.).
• Select the seven balls that are closest to the two targets and throw them off the green.
• The eighth closest ball is your median shot or we could say - the average distance of your first putt when you're playing on the golf course and have a shot from 3 yards off the green.
Find the corresponding distance below to see what skill level you are around the green from a shot that is 3 yards off the green:
105 Golfer - 23 feet (8th closest ball to your targets)
95 Golfer - 17 feet
85 Golfer - 10 feet
75 Golfer - 4 feet
PGA Tour Pro - 2 feet
Why is this drill so good? Because many Over 90 golfer's only remember those one or two great wedge shots they hit to 2 feet from the flag. Yet they forget the others that rolled way past or didn't even make it to the green! This game find's where your average shot most likely is ending up.
To put this drill in perspective think about how many times out of 10 is the 95 golfer going to make that 17-foot, downhill, right-to-left breaking putt? Is it going to be more or less than the 85 Golfer putting from 10 feet? How about the 75 Golfer putting from 4 feet? Do the same from 10 yards off the green to one flag that is 10 yards onto the green (so basically it's a 10 yard + 10 yard = a 20-yard shot to the flag) and one flag that is 15 yards onto the green (so basically it's a 25 yard shot). These are the distance each group's eighth farthest ball will be from the flag:
• 105 Golfer - 44 feet from the flag (basically 15 yards)
• 95 Golfer - 35 feet (basically 12 yards away from the flag on a 20 and 25 yard shot)
• 85 Golfer - 23 feet (basically 8 yards)
• 75 Golfer - 12 feet (4 yards)
• PGA Tour Pro - 5 feet (basically a tap-in)
To put this drill in perspective think about how many times out of 10 is the 95 golfer going to make that 35-foot (12-yard) putt? Is it going to be more or less than the 85 golfer putting from 23 feet? Are you going to make as many pars as the 75 golfer putting from 12 feet?
While the 75 golfer will make 3 out of 10 putts from 12 feet - the odds of the 95 golfer making 1 putt from 35 feet is small.
Or how about this eye opener? The 75 golfer is closer to the hole in the second game from 20 yards away than the 95 golfer is in the first game from 13 yards.
PGA Professional Marc Solomon is director of The Hampton Golf Academy at The Golf Club at North Hampton in Amelia Island, Florida - www.Golfmadesimple.com. He has been named as a "Top 10 Instructor in America under 40" and is regarded as the "Top Instructor in North Florida." If you have the desire to improve, checkout his web site at www.Golfmadesimple.com. At the web site you will find information why "92 percent of Hampton Golf Academy students have shaved 6-11 strokes during their three-day Golf School."
September 6, 2006
PGA Professional Marc Solomon is the director of Golf Made Simple (www.Golfmadesimple.com). He has been named as a "Top 10 Instructor under 40 in America" and is regarded as the "Top Instructor in North Florida."