This is the ideal distance to practice your putts, says top teacher

To help dial in your stroke on the greens, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy says to practice putting from this distance during your warm up

By practicing from this distance, you'll dial in your touch on the greens.

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

One area that almost immediately shaves strokes off of a players game is improved putting. Problem is, spending hours on putting practice isn’t particularly all that fun, so lots of amateurs tend to just overlook it and hope for the best during the round.

Anyone who knows me can attest that I’m this type of player.

As someone who often runs late to a tee time, I’m usually the guy who meets on the first tee box a minute before we’re set to go off. Yes, I know it causes anxiety — both for myself and playing partners — but, more than anything, it also puts me behind the 8-ball when it comes to getting loose.

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Sure, I can take practice swings with my driver or irons to loosen up, but once I’m on the putting surface, I’ve yet to see how the ball rolls on the greens or how my stroke should feel. Without knowing this, it doesn’t matter if I hit the green in regulation — ’cause there’s a good chance I’m either 2- or even 3-putting.

So here’s a reminder to those players like me: Take time for putting practice before a round!

Now that we’ve established the importance of doing so, you might be asking yourself about what drills and distances can help dial in your putting practice. To help with that, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jim Murphy is here to help!

Below, Murphy suggests the ideal distance to practice putts from, which will go a long way in helping players get loose, read greens, and determine the speeds of putts. Take a look and try it out for yourself!

The ideal putting practice distance is farther than you think

Most golfers have probably seen the stat about pros sinking 99% of putts within three feet — which is absolutely remarkable. And while those close ones make a huge difference in scores, Murphy thinks practicing putts from a much longer distance is the more effective way to improve.

“Many players [I watch practice] are just hitting putts from all different distances, hoping it will make them better on the course,” Murphy says. “But I think that practicing a longer putt helps a player get down their speed, green-reading, and aim.”

Next, Murphy shares some data regarding putting tendencies, saying that 32 feet is the magic number when it comes to the difference between a possible 2-putt and a 3-putt.

“32 feet is the break even point on the Tour where players average 2 putts,” he says. “Inside of that, players 1-putt more often than they 3-putt, and anything farther than that, they 3-putt more than they 1-putt.

“With that being said, I think practicing putts from this distance [32 feet] is ideal because it requires you to work on your speed control and aim. If you’re able to regularly 2-putt from this distance each time, your scores will drastically improve.”

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Finally, Murphy provides a quick putting drill to try from 32 feet in order to work towards 2-putting from this long distance.

“Place three balls 32 feet from the hole, putting each of them without 3-putting,” he says. “Then move positions or to another practice hole, also placing three balls 32 feet from the cup; then repeat.

“This really helps with the pace of your stroke. If you have too much acceleration in your stroke, it will be hard to hit it the correct distance every time.”

By lengthening your putting practice to 32 feet, you’ll be able to dial in your lag putting, minimize the number of putts per round, and achieve lower scores. Let’s go get it!

Pelz Player Putting Mat

 Pelz Player Putting Mat INDOOR PUTTING MAT – Developed exclusively by Catalyst Golf in collaboration with Dave Pelz! The world renowned short game expert brings you a putting mat based on drills and games that Dave uses with top tour players to help win major championships IMPROVE YOUR GOLF SCORE – Master putts inside 9 feet to help lower your score and become a better golfer. The same theory has been used with Master’s Champions Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed PUTTING GREEN – The Putting Mat comes with instructions, drills and tips to help you improve your aim, speed, and distance MULTIPLE HOLE LENGTHS – Designed to work with the PELZ Player Putting Cups to help you setup your own indoor putting green studio. Putting Cups sold separately INCLUDES – 1 putting mat 26″ x 126″ (10.5 feet) with rubber backing to ensure a smooth putting surface and 1 foam wedge used for ball return at end of mat and for creating breaks   In the Box: 1 Pelz Player Putting Mat 26″ x 126″ 1 Foam wedge used for ball return at end of mat and for creating breaks Note:  PELZ Player Putting Cups are sold separately     Technical Details Parcel Dimensions ‎68.83 x 17.02 x 16.51 cm; 3.72 Kilograms Manufacturer reference ‎CGPELZMAT Color ‎Green Style ‎Putting Mat Brand ‎Catalyst Golf Item Weight ‎3.72 kg Mat Size 26″ wide x 126″ long (10.5 feet)
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Jim Murphy Contributor

Nick Dimengo Editor