How Important Are Putting statistics??
Putting is often talked about as being the most important aspect of golf. It is said so often that many people say it without truly believing it.
If I was to guess what percentage of lessons I do are putting lessons I would guess somewhere around 5%.
Usually the golfer will say at the start of a lesson that they would like to improve their driving accuracy or distance. Others may want to improve their ball striking with their irons.
As fulfilling as it is to strike the ball better or possibly even straighter or further this doesn’t necessarily mean your score will be lower. If you were to average 3 less putts per round, your score will be 3 shots lower on average. It sounds simple when I say it like that.
I have had many golfers with mid and high handicaps tell me their short game and putting are great but need more distance off the tee. I mean no disrespect, but I find it hard to believe they are great if their handicap is mid or high. To describe an aspect of your game as good, great etc is all relative to that person’s ability.
If you analyse your putting statistics honestly you may find they are not as good as you thought. I asked a golfer how many putts they normally manage in a round to which they replied, “I don’t three putt too often but I rarely have one putts”. This person averages over 38 per round.
I do not see why a regular golfer cannot average around 32 putts per round or better. There are contributing factors which can influence the putts per round total. These are greens hit in regulation along with the size of greens you are playing on.
If you played a round at the Old Course St Andrews you could end up with putts from 100+ feet. The occasional three putt may be more acceptable.
If you played at a golf course with small greens you may miss many of them and therefore chip close with your next shot leaving yourself more makeable putts.
A couple of statistic which may be surprising come from the US PGA Tour. Below I have compared three golfers with some of their statistics from the 2017 season to show how important the putting and is along with percentage for greens in regulation.
Jimmy Walker was ranked the number one putter on the PGA Tour for the 2017 season out of 219 PGA Tour Professionals.
For golfers at this level the putting is almost as good as it can be. You can see from the list above that there is almost as little as ½ a shot difference between Dustin and Jimmy’s average putts per round. I mentioned that Jimmy Walker finished top of the tree with putts per round, current world number one Dustin Johnson finished 99th on the same list.
From number one all the way to number 99 there was around ½ a shot putts per round of a difference. So, when someone says Phil Mickelson can’t putt, or Jordan Spieth is the best putter in the world which are statements I hear so often, there maybe other factors influencing this.
Phil Mickelson averaged 26.59 putts per round which put him 6th on the putting list.
By no means am I saying Jordan Spieth isn’t one of or if not the best pressure putter in the world. He manages to whole putts at the most crucial times. All I am saying is that sometimes we see one or two putts being missed and make judgement calls.
You can also see Dustin’s greens in regulation percentage is higher than Jimmy’s. Which might answer the question as to why Dustin’s scoring is better and therefore justifies his number one ranking. If Dustin hits more greens in regulation he is leaving himself more birdie putts then Jimmy will have, leading to lower scores.
If you took the time to analyse your rounds honestly and accurately as possible you may be surprised at what are your strengths and weaknesses may be. This then shows you more accurately what you may need to improve on to bring your scores down.
Most amateur golfers won’t even know how many greens in regulation they hit. This can be a huge influence on the number of putts you have per round.
Helping you try to identify certain weaknesses in your game is something we can help you with.
If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.