Putting Stats are a curiosity, but often of little
practical value to improving your putting.
A curiosity maybe, but it is nevertheless good to have a handle on how well you are putting. The criteria you use should be meaningful as well as easy and quick to gather the relevant information.
In sport we are bombarded with statistics. Golf has taken its lead from baseball where statistical innovations became a feature of the game in the 1970s.
On the PGA Tour the three recognisable Skill Stats for Putting are:
In 2001 the Shotlink Scoring System, using GPS technology for ball positioning in real time, was introduced to fill in the gaps - its mission to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into entertainment.
Tour Players can now access in great detail their Shotlink stats for every shot and every putt.
In 2011 the PGA introduced a Strokes Gained - Putting Stat. This tracks a player's performance relative to his fellow competitors in a tournament offering a more accurate portrayal of his overall putting performance.
How does following the Putting Stats for a golf tournament and comparing your ability to Tour Players help you to improve your putting? The answer is not a lot.
Your Putts Per Round will be largely irrelevant as it depends on too many variables. Factors such as the number of greens you hit, the length of your first putt, the difficulty of the green and the quality of the putting surface.
Your Putts Per Greens in Regulation will not provide enough detail. In 2008 Golf Digest calculated from thousands of rounds by amateur golfers a comparative table. Results showed that a 10-handicapper can expect to hit seven greens and a 20-handicapper only four greens.
Scoring low in golf is all about your percentage in getting down in two whenever you are within wedge distance of the hole.
Good putting is often the result of good pitching, chipping, and bunker play, more than pure stroke mechanics.
To this you must add your ability to read a putt, aim your putterface accurately, and control your ball speed so that it matches your read.
Most golfers are frustrated if they miss putts close to the hole. Beyond three feet, it starts to become more hope than expectation.
Short putts within a putter length are missed mostly through performance anxiety or an inability to putt straight.
A record of your short putts missed will help you to pinpoint where you need to practise.
An optional method of collecting Putting Stats is to pace off and record the approximate length of all your putts in the round to arrive at a combined total. Next divide this total by the number of putts you took.
This will give you a figure of the average length of the putts you made. The greater the length, the better is the current health of your putting.