Do you often go out to the practice green and have this mission to make EVERY putt? Do you swear each time you miss one from 5′ – 7′ and get frustrated with yourself? This inner dialogue you’re creating is probably hurting your putting in the long run. The best thing you can do for yourself when practicing your putting is to set realistic expectations, focus on your weak points and concentrate.
Ok, so you’re probably thinking that all putts were not created equal. That is correct! You probably are going to make much fewer lag putts (20’+) than you are putts from around 3′. Side note: you shouldn’t really be aiming to make those lags putts, but that’s another strategy for another day.
Here are a few tips on how to set the expectations for your putting.
1. You’re not a pro. You won’t have pro numbers. If you said that you expect to make more than 50% in the survey above, you’re probably aiming a bit high. Here is a good article about expectations and putting stats.
2. Don’t focus on making the putt. Focus on doing the right things that will ultimately help you make the putt. I like to call this “Mindful Putting” or really it’s mindful practicing. Set goals that realistic and hone in on those goals.
3. Consider the distance! As stated above, and from the example of how many fewer putts pros make from longer distances, you cannot expect to make lag putts. Instead, practice getting those lag putts to within a distance that is make-able (yes, this is a made up golf word that I use a lot).
If you can walk out on that practice green next time and feel empowered to practice with intention, then you are going to find that you’re a much better putter come weekend golf rounds. You’ll also be less frustrated about not making those less-statistically-makeable putts. And hey, aren’t we all tired of throwing our putters?