Be a Hula-Hoop putter from longer distances.
When you’re on the green and more than 20 feet from the hole, learn to stop the ball close beside the hole by being a hula hoop putter. It’s a wonderful thing to walk up and confidently tap your second putt into the hole with one hand on your putter, a wonderful thing indeed.
Professionals know if they are more than 20 feet from the cup they’re probably not going to make the putt. Professionals make about 14% of their putts from 20 feet and only 7% of their putts at 30 feet.
If you’re 20 feet and closer to the hole, try to stop the ball within six inches of the hole on either side. Since the hole is 4 1/4 inches in diameter, that makes a circle around the hole of 16 inches, doesn’t it? That’s a circle about the size of the steering wheel on your car. That’s a pretty big circle. If your first putt is inside the steering wheel circle you’re going to have a very short second putt, aren’t you?
When you get beyond 20 feet from the hole, give yourself a slightly larger margin of error. You should make your circle bigger than the steering wheel on your car. When you’re 20, 30 or 40 feet from the hole and beyond, be a hula-hoop putter.
At those longer distances, pretend there’s a hula hoop lying on the ground around the hole. Get your putt to stop inside the hula hoop. If you’re inside the hula hoop you’ll have a short, makeable second putt.
Remember, when you’re putting from longer distances you’re not going to make many putts. Your goal is lag the ball up close to the hole so you rarely 3-putt. It’s hard to break 100 if you’re taking 3-putts every time you’re a long distance from the cup.
Like everything else in golf, you’ll need to practice to improve your lag putting. The more time you spend working on your short game on the practice green, the more quickly you’ll develop a feel for lag putting, and the easier it will be for you to break 100.
Here’s my advice.
- Each time you play go a few minutes early and practice lag putting.
- Take four balls to the practice green.
- Hit all four balls to the same distant target.
- Practice different distances.
- Learn to stop the ball inside the ‘hula hoop’.
I enjoy making a game out of my practice. I like to putt to a distant hole and then see how many of the four balls I can make on the second putt. If I make all four, I do a little hula dance and pretend I’m ready to play in the Masters.
Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,
ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee. My Momma would be proud of me. My book, Golf for Beginners won two awards, the silver from FAPA and the Elit bronze.
pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.
ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.
Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.
My historical novel about the Cherokee deportation, A White Killing Frost, is on the shelf ready for you to check out in the Lady Lake Library and the Sumter County Library in Wildwood. It’s also available in almost every public library system in both Georgia and Florida. How good is that? The digital book is $2.99.Click Here.
I’ve been collecting useful golf instructional books for my students. I keep them in my truck. If you are interested in any of the following titles come by the range and purchase any for $2.00. All books are used and in good to excellent condition. Some appear to have never been read. Here’s the list: Golf Begins at 50 by: Gary Player, Augusta National & The Masters: A Photographers Scrapbook, David Ledbetter’s Positive Practice, Dave Peltz Short Game Bible, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by: Bob Rotella, Little Red Book by: Harvey Penick, From the Fairway by: Michael Hobbs, Trouble Shooting by: Michael Hobbs, For All Who Love the Game by: Harvey Penick, And if You Play Golf You’re My Friend by: Harvey Penick, Are you Kidding Me? Rocco Mediate.