Think Clearly on the Greens to Lower Scores

In this article we will be mentioning the role that putting plays in your ability to shoot low scores. Since you will putt on virtually every hole you ever play – with the rare occasion where you hole out from off the green – it should be no surprise that your putting ability holds tremendous power over your final score in each round. Putt well and your score will often be to your liking. Putt poorly and it doesn’t really matter how well you play from tee to green, as your score is still going to be a disappointment.

A big part of your success on the greens is going to come down to the quality of your stroke, but that is a topic for another time. Here, we are concerned with the way you think while you are putting, and while you prepare to putt. If you can straighten out your thinking on the greens, you just might be able to shave a stroke or two off your average score.

The points below highlight some important keys that should help put your mind in a better place while you putt.

  • Speed is king. Too many golfers focus solely on picking the right line when they putt. We aren’t saying the line of the putt is not important – of course it is – but so too is the speed. If you fail to pay attention to the speed because you are so wrapped up in picking a good line, you are destined to make a mistake. Every read has two parts, the line and the speed. Work just as hard on the speed as you do on the line to make sure you are fully prepared when you stand over the ball and make a stroke.
  • Don’t get too aggressive. When you are facing what you consider to be a makeable putt – something inside of 10 or 15 feet – you may be tempted to hit an aggressive putt, trying to knock the ball in with confidence. It’s good to be confident, but don’t take it so far as to risk racing your ball well past the cup. The last thing you want to do is wind up taking three putts to get down just because you were too aggressive with the first. Ideally, you will be able to find a balance that lets you get the ball to the hole while leaving you a tap in if you do miss. Try to temper your aggression and roll the ball with a reasonable pace on almost every occasion.
  • Take a break. It is always a good idea to take a quick mental break to reset when you miss a putt. Rather than just walking up and hitting your next putt shortly after the ball stops rolling, mark the ball and pick it up. Not only will this let you clean the ball off, it will also let you take a deep breath and shake off any frustration you might be feeling from the previous miss. Of course, you don’t have to take this step if you are only facing a tap in for your next putt, as long as you are sure you can make it.

The ability to putt at a high level is a powerful skill to possess. Even if you play a poor hole from tee to green, you might be able to save your par with just a single great putt. Or, when you do hit a nice approach, you can cash it in for a birdie thanks to your putting skills. Whether you are working on the mental or physical side of your putting prowess, make sure this area of the game always gets the attention it deserves.