Angel Cabrera used a final-round 64 to claim the 2014 Greenbrier Classic on Sunday, defeating a red-hot field that posted one low round after another.
Cabrera, like most PGA Tour winners, relied on a hot putter to help seal the victory, as he gained 1.549 strokes with the flatstick, good enough for sixth in the field.
Your long game (drives and approaches) might open the door to victory, but gaining strokes on the greens will help you walk through it for the win.
Here are some tips to help you practice more effectively so you can be a better putter on the golf course:
• Master 4 feet and in. Using the strokes gained-putting statistic, Mark Broadie’s book “Every Shot Counts” has identified that 4-footers are the most important distance for amateur golfers (5 feet for pros). Instead of parking yourself on the practice green at 4 feet, vary your practice by making 3-, 4- and 5-footers from different points around the hole.
• Practice reading greens. Assessing the amount of slope and speed your putt will encounter are key components for effective green reading. If you have a hard time feeling the amount of slope under your feet, a digital level may be a good investment to take on the course when you practice. Simply walk around the green and try to gauge the amount of slope you’re encountering. Getting feedback from a level will get you the confirmation you need to know you’re making the right estimate.
• Eliminate three-putts. Anytime you take three putts or more to get the ball in the hole, your score will suffer greatly. Most three-putts happen outside of 20 feet from the hole. Practice your speed control from outside 20 feet to make sure you get the first putt within 3 feet for an easy two-putt. The key to effective practice is to vary your distance often. By never hitting the same putt consecutively on the practice green you will begin to develop superior feel with your putter.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your putting, click here.