How much practice time should you spend on putting? If 40% of golf is putting, then in theory, 20% of your practice time should be spent on the putting process.
Steps in the putting process
At least half the outcome of a putt is determined by the quality of the putting process. Ideally, the putting process includes the following steps:
- Reading the green
- Lining up the ball
- Getting a feel for the pace of the needed stroke
- Lining up
- Rolling the ball towards the hole
To practice your process, take a phased approach that follows the sequence of these steps.
1. First, practice observing the green
Practice observing the slope of the green. This includes the surrounding area, and even beyond the green. Look at the length of the grass and the direction it’s growing—the grain. Is there moisture on the green from morning dew or a recent rainfall? Does the green feel soft or firm? These observation skills develop with time, and practice.
2. Now practice lining up
Practice lining up the golf ball and stepping back to confirm. This will help you become more proficient, and ultimately, can lessen the time pressure you feel when putting. Once the putt has been read and the ball is lined up, get a feel for the pace of the putt.
3. Finally, practice lining up and swinging
Last but not least is lining up the putter and then swinging the putter. Working with a training aid such as an Eyeline mirror or laser to get feedback on putter face alignment can be very helpful.
Every step in the putting process has a deliberate purpose. Once you’ve mastered these steps you will own your routine and greatly increase your chance of success.