World No. 3 Inbee Park has long had a reputation as one of the game’s best putters. And thanks the the availability of newly-implemented KPMG Performance Insights, we’re now able to study the hard data on player performance in various categories.
According to KPMG Performance Insights Contributor Justin Ray, Park makes an incredible 64 percent of her putts from 10-15 feet. The rest of her LPGA Tour peers drain putts from that distance less than half as often: 28 percent of the time. The best players in the men’s game make between 40 and 41 percent of their putts from that range, meaning, according to Ray, that Park is making more putts from 10 to 15 feet than PGA Tour players do, on average, from five to 10 feet. Incredible!
Ahead of this week’s Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey, Park was asked to reveal her secret to success on the greens.
“I heard about the stats and I wasn’t surprised, because I always kind of felt a lot more comfortable putting 10 to 15 feet than like six to eight feet or five to seven feet,” Park said. “I heard the percentage is higher to make the 10- to 15-footer. I think this really comes down to the mind.
“I feel a lot more relaxed doing 10- to 15-footer where I don’t have to make the putt, right? It’s usually less than half of the percentage that I’m going to miss,” Park continued. So but like three to five, seven feet, you know, I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself, so maybe that’s why the percentages are lower. That’s the game I’m trying to get better at. Yeah, 10- to 15-footer I feel confident, and I think that’s why that stat is showing.”
Letting go of the expectation for a positive result and focusing on the process is also helpful, Park says.
“On the greens there are so many variables that you have to take into account. It’s just hard to think about everything,” Park said. “There are so many things happening on the way to the hole. I’m just trying to put the right speed, the right line, and that’s pretty much all I can do. Sometimes you hit a bump. Sometimes your speed is little off. Sometimes your line is little off. But I seem to care less a little bit about it and just see what happens.”
Putting less performance pressure on ourselves is obviously easier said than done, but still, a great reminder from the game’s best putter.
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