There are few things as invigorating for a golfer as smashing a drive down the middle of the fairway that ends up 10 to 20 yards past your playing partners.
But when it comes to consistently scoring at or below your handicap, one part of the game becomes very important. It is often referred to as the game inside the game, and we’re talking about putting.
PGA Tour rookie Jonas Blixt demonstrated this week just how valuable putting can be as he dominated the field in the putting statistics en route to winning the Frys.com Open.
Blixt would finish first in the field in strokes gained putting and putts per round, he was second in the field when it came to putts per green in regulation and for the week he didn’t miss a single putt inside of 5 feet.
Blixt’s putting performance might rank as one of the best on Tour this season, but what magnifies the importance of the flat stick is the fact that his ball-striking stats were average at best. His driving accuracy was 43rd, driving distance 41st, and maybe the most telling stat was that he only hit 66.7 percent of greens in regulation, finishing tied for 59th in the field.
Still, despite the low percentage of greens in regulation, Blixt led the field with 21 birdies.
Last week, I discussed some ideas to help you make more birdies and lower your scores. But what are some ways you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your putter?
• 1. Make sure your putter fits: Club fitting has come a long way in the last few years but few people take the time to make sure their putter actually fits them. Personal preference is important when it comes to the head shape and possibly the weight of the putter, but make sure the length and lie angle of your putter accomplishes the following things at address: That the putter is flat on the ground, your eyes are directly over or slightly inside the ball and your arms hang naturally from your shoulders.
• 2. Speed control is key: The size of your putting stroke will determine the speed and distance of your putt. But much like judging how far your arm would go back to throw a ball, little thought needs to be involved. Use the practice green before a round to determine the speed of the greens, and then use that knowledge on the course. Let your body react to the speed, slope and distance of the putt. With practice, you will develop the superior touch that Blixt displayed this week.