How important is good putting

31-01-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie golf column pictures. World of Golf,2700 Great Western Road, Clydebank
31-01-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie golf column pictures. World of Golf,2700 Great Western Road, Clydebank

My old dad used to say that the man who could putt was a match for anyone - was 
he correct?

Well according to the latest book that I am reading he wasn’t. Every shot counts, by Mark Broadie is “an absolutely fantastic book and it could change the way that people play the game,” says European Ryder cup player 
Edoardo Molinari.

31-01-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie golf column pictures. World of Golf,2700 Great Western Road, Clydebank

31-01-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie golf column pictures. World of Golf,2700 Great Western Road, Clydebank

Take a look at the two pictures, you will see that I am introducing the book, then finding out some new information on putting. “Putting is overrated” according to Broadie, as his stats reveal that putting contributed to 35 percent, on average, to victories on the PGA Tour - while off green shots were responsible for 65 percent. In fact a recent study from 2004-2012 showed that putting contributed only 15 percent to the top golfers scoring average, and through the green shots, accounted for 85 percent. It has often been said that the reason for Tiger Woods being the best player in the world for many years, was primarily down to his excellent putting. Actually that is not quite right. He was the best player through the green.

No doubt you have all heard the old adage “you drive for show and putt for dough.” Do you agree with that? I certainly do not agree with that statement, as I would rather two putt for a par than single putt for a double bogey. Many coaches now believe that in fact driving is the most important part of the game.

Vijay Singh won the World Golf Championship at Bridgestone in 2008, while putting significantly worse than the rest of the field. His Tee to Green play was exceptional. Now answer this question - do you ever count the number of putts taken during/after your medal round? If as I suspect many of you will do, this is actually a waste of time, as it doesn’t take distance into account. For example, taking two putts from 30 feet is actually good, but taking two putts from two feet is not good. But in the putting count, they are both two putts.

Using the new strokes gained approach is an easier and better way to improve your putting performance. Finally, remember that putting is important but golf is not a glorified putting contest! Next week: Orange whip time.

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Golf lessons at 1995 prices

It’s hard to imagine, but David Pirie’s golf column has been running in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald for 20 years.

To mark this David is offering 30 minute lessons in February, for the 1995 price of £15. To book call 0141 944 4141 and quote Milngavie and Bearsden Herald golf lesson offer.