Marius Filmalter: Why putting is so hard (plus, my 10-minute warm-up routine)

YE_putts TPC at Sawgrass, home of this week’s Players Championship, can be summed up in three words: dry and fast. Florida has had an exceptionally dry winter/spring this year and its shows on the golf course. The greens and fairways are both hard and running very fast.
I spent some time on Tuesday with Y.E. Yang, Ryan Palmer and Derek Lamely. Yang and I started doing some work together back in 2009. He is a wonderful putter and probably doesn’t get enough credit for it.
I heard a significant amount of talk this past week about the new putting stat introduced by the PGA Tour called Strokes Gained-Putting. For those who are unfamiliar with it, take a moment and read Connell Barrett’s article on Golf.com, which does an excellent job explaining the process.
Many people have asked me for my opinion on the new putting stat. The introduction of mountains of data through the stat “Strokes Gained-Putting” is another step in the new relationship between science and the game of golf. This relationship will only continue to grow as the PGA Tour’s ShotLink program allows universities access to the Tour’s vast statistical data. It is just a matter of time before we see variations of this type of statistic that cover all aspects of the game. The slogan of my business Marius Golf is “Science not Theory.”
After reviewing this new stat, I saw several probabilities amateurs could learn from. First, the average Tour professional will make 95 percent of 3-footers but only 75 percent of 5-footers. Second, a putt of 7 feet and 10 inches has a make-or-miss probability of 50-50. Lastly, at 14 feet the probability of making the putt is only 25 percent.
When reading these probabilities, you can see that even the best players don’t make everything. Remember, these probabilities are based on the results of the best players in the world playing on the best-conditioned golf courses in the world. So unless you play your Saturday morning game at Oakmont, give yourself a break. Putting isn’t easy.
Let me leave you today with a question I received via blog@mariusgolf.com from Dan S. of Tampa, FL.
Dan mentioned that he barely hits his drives past his wife so he has to rely on making more putts to beat her. Dan asked what I thought was the best use of the 10 minutes he allotted himself to warm up on the practice green. For the first minute I suggest that you start by standing a foot away from the hole with three balls. Make a putt with each ball and try to hit the left side, the center and the right side of the hole. This helps you get your aim and your eyesight in sync. Next I would spend five minutes on making 3-5 foot putts around the hole. I recommend using multiple golf balls and make sure you don’t putt over and over again from the same spot. Lastly, putt to a hole that is more than 25 feet away from you. If possible, putt to a hole that is uphill and then to a hole that is downhill. This last drill is to help you get acclimated to the green speed. Close your warm-up by making a couple 3 footers in a row for confidence.
As always check out my website at www.mariusgolf.com and sign-up for the free member section. I also want to thank all the readers who have purchased my new Automatic Putting package (3-disc DVD set, Marius Putting Belt and Marius Metronome). I have gotten several hundred emails from folks sharing their stories of improvement, which is very rewarding to me. Keep them coming.
Until next time….cheers!

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