My Putting Stinks  

Kim Anders
Director of Instruction
John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, AZ

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How many putts do you have in 18-holes? Do you know? Do you ever keep track? Most people don’t. When I asked one of my members that question he said, “I usually have a few 3-putts and a few 1-putts so it probably evens out at about 36 putts for 18-holes”.  

A few days later I saw him again and asked about his putting. “I had a bad day,” he mumbled. How bad was it? 42. Wow, that was a bad day. The following day, 41. Hardly a good day. A couple of weeks later he comes in and admits 40 to 43 putts seems to be the norm for him, punctuating his realization with, “Wow, I really suck!”  

We sat down and I told him if he only had the number of putts he was supposed to have, two per hole so 36 per round, he would regularly be shooting under 100 instead of over 100.  

How much practice time are you devoting to your putting? “Not really that much. It’s not much fun to practice putting.” How much fun is 3 or 4 putting, shooting over 100 instead of under, and buying your buddies drinks all the time? “Hmmm, I see what you’re saying. Can you help me?”

The next day we met and I gave him some fundamentals to use with his putting and a few practice drills. It was only a short time till he said, “This is really cool, it really makes a difference.”  

He stayed on the practice green for about 90 minutes after I left him. He came by to see me afterwards and said, “Wow, this practicing is a lot of work, but it does work!” Yes, it is a lot of work. As Sam Snead once said, “The more I practice the luckier I get”. He smiled and nodded his head. He’s getting it!

It has been about a month now and his bad putting days are about 36 or 37 putts. Still not great, but a lot better than 42. He says his short game is improving because he has more confidence with his putting, and he regularly shoots low to mid 90’s.  

I know putting isn’t really as much fun as teeing up the ball and seeing how far your driver will send it. But, the scorecard doesn’t care how far you drive the ball, it counts the same as that three foot or 3 inch putt. May not seem fair but that’s what the rules say.  

Ultimately, I would say you need to keep working on this until your putts per round average is less than 32. Your scores will be much better, you’ll enjoy the game more, and you can let your buddies buy you drinks for a change!

See your PGA Professional to get your putting down where it should be!   

Kim Anders is a PGA Professional at Estrella del Mar Golf Community residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at