High handicappers tend to make these 2 mistakes on the green

If you're a high handicapper, improvement starts around the green.

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If you’re a high handicapper, one of the fastest paths to improvement is getting better on and around the greens. To help you do that, make sure to avoid these two common pitfalls.

1. Trying to ram in short putts

So many of my high-handicappers have the incorrect belief that short putts have no break, and you can make them if you just hit them firmly in the center of the cup. While that may be true sometimes, just because you are three feet or closer to the hole doesn’t mean you should aim directly at the hole to make the putt.

All putts have some break and that means the shorties do too! Next time you are practicing three-footers, put a tee down halfway to the hole on the left or right side of the line you choose and work on putting it both above and below the tee. Observe what happens and make adjustments based on what you are seeing and learning.

2. Expecting to two-putt every green

This is a near-impossible feat for a high handicapper. Don’t hold yourself accountable to such a difficult standard. If you are 15 feet or closer to a hole, then a two-putt goal is attainable. If you are outside of 15 feet, you probably don’t have the skill set yet to accomplish less than a three-putt. And that’s okay!

Make sure that when you are putting from more than 15 feet away, your goal is simply to get the ball closer to the hole on each stroke. This will take some of the anxiety away from two-putt pressure and will help you build up confidence.

Try practicing your speed control on longer putts by walking 10 long strides (about 30 feet) from a hole, then place a tee down and putt to the hole. Incorporate both uphill, downhill and level stations to practice your lag putting. 

Need help unriddling the greens at your home course? Pick up a custom Green Book from 8AM Golf affiliate GolfLogix.

Sarah R. Stone, PGA, is the Director of Instruction at the Chevy Chase Club in Maryland.

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