My best equipment tip for amateurs, according to one Top 100 Teacher

If you want to shave strokes, getting your putter dialed in will help.

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Quick: How many times do you hit driver, or 3-wood, or, say, an 8-iron, during one 18-hole round? The answer is probably 14 times at a maximum for driver, and for most clubs it’s significantly less than that.

But how many times do you use your putter? A lot. That’s why it’s so crucial to make sure your putting isn’t a problem area. Making key putts and avoiding those dreaded three-putts is crucial to your score, so it makes even more sense to ensure your trusty putter is dialed in specifically for you.

In fact, when GOLF Top 100 Teacher Tina Tombs was asked for her best equipment tip for amateur golfers, she said it’s to get fit for a putter.

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“I see a lot of people that just go and buy a putter off the rack, and it’s too long, it’s not the right lie. Putters are visual, so I think if you can find a putter that looks good that you can aim and get the ball started on line it’s really important,” said Tombs, a former LPGA Tour winner and two-time LPGA National Teacher of the Year. She now runs her own academy out of Arizona Biltmore Golf Club in Phoenix. “A lot of putters are 34, 35 inches right off the rack, and a lot of people don’t need 35-inch putters, so I think that’s one area where people can really really improve that part of their game just by getting fitted for a putter.”

Tombs said a proper putter fitting will help amateurs on any length putt, but the benefits of being a strong lag putter are obvious.

“It’s really important to get the ball started on line,” she said. “Long putts, if we get the putter started off line, now we are going to have a lot longer putt for the second putt, and if you get a putter that’s weighted correctly for you to feel the speed and transfer that energy through the hit, I think that’s really important. Anything that you can do to get your eyes to see the right line and get your ball started on the right line I think is important.”

You can get a putter fitting at almost any golf shop (I got one that helped me at GOLFTEC). You can also check out GOLF’s sister company, True Spec Golf, for more information on club-fittings or to book one for yourself.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.