Don’t be so hard on yourself when it comes to PUTTING
It should be understood in putting, that the perfectly executed shot will not always go into the hole, the converse is also true. A ball perfectly struck often misses the hole because the ball is imperfect, spike marks, footprints, and or an elevated hole redirects the ball away from the intended path. Most often one can not determine what went wrong once a put is struck less than perfectly, the club angle, sideways movement in the stroke or not hitting the ball in the center of the putter, all contribute, and are often difficult to judge. The frustrating thing is you may never determine exactly what went wrong!
How good can one get at putting? A putt machine was set up 3.5 meters from the hole and used on a number of greens and from all different angles, and a success rate was determined, it was only 50%! So a golfer who can putt perfectly should only expect to get half of his putts into the hole when putting from a distance of 3.5 meters. Statistics taken over a number of years on the USPGA tour shows that the average pro, under tour conditions sinks only 20% of his puts played from 3.5 meters.
The average player should therefore not expect to sink as many putts from this distance, and places unnecessary pressure to do better forcing a player to continually re-adjust all areas of his putting.
Putting success rates are low because, the putting surface as well as the ball, is most often not perfectly round; by floating a ball in a saline solution one can determine the lightest side of the ball with a mark if it regularly floats with this marked side up. If not the balls centre of gravity is in the middle and it can be deemed to be round. Play with these off-round balls when not competing and when putting ensure the dot is placed on top. The area around the hole on a green can become a reverse crater, because during a days play each 4 ball uses the green, players walk with increasing frequency the closer one gets to the hole, but never on the hole. This means that ball speed becomes a critical factor if it is to overcome this often undetected ridge around a hole.
Four critical skills to master when you are on a putting green are, correctly reading the surface, correctly aligning the putter, and correctly executing the moment-of -impact factors (sweet spot, rolling ball forward in the direction of the hole, club face at a right angle to the direction the ball must roll )and producing the correct ball speed.
This information is abridged from the book “Golf; Short game Basics” by Oliver Heuler, a very interesting and thorough approach to an imperfect science.
The Putting Line; Rule 16-1a; When you can and can not touch that line.
Is defined as the path you think your ball will travel to get to the hole. It does not extend past the hole and includes space on either side of the intended path of the ball.
Yes: Repair ball pitch marks; leaves & sand or other obstructions; Ball markers, bugs.
No: Touch to test surface or indicate line; repair spike marks; Stand on line or lines extension while putting.