If you’re serious about improving your game, the best place to start is with your putting. It’s the best—and the fastest—way to lower scores. That makes sense. Why—because roughly, 40 percent of your shots are putts. Cut the average number of putts you take down, and you’ll find yourself shooting dramatically lower scores. You may even break 80.
But cutting strokes from your golf handicap is tough—no matter how much natural talent you have. If you have a high golf handicap, it’s a bit easier because there’s more room for improvement. But it’s still hard to do. Golf instruction books can help you improve your putting from the comfort of your home.
With so many books out there, it’s hard to choose which to use. Below are descriptions of five of the best golf instruction books on putting available. Use the descriptions below to decide which to buy:
- Dave Peltz’s Putting Bible by Dave Peltz
This book is among the game’s best instruction books around. Peltz explains the book’s golf lessons on putting in great detail. His suggestions are backed by years of research and teaching. A scientist by profession, Pelz provides detailed explanations, photos, illustrations, charts, and plenty of sage advice on the art of putting. Ingraining the golf tips in this book can’t help but boost your putting.
- The Mental Art of Putting by Patrick Cohn and Robert Winters
The Mental Art of Putting is ideal for “the putting impaired.” It teaches you to use what the authors consider the most crucial asset in putting—your mind. Offering self-evaluation techniques, step-by-step instructions, and plenty of practice drills, the book gives tons of golf tips on putting. Master the golf lessons in this book, and you’ll improve your putting and shrink your golf handicap by at least a couple of strokes.
- The Art of Putting by Willie Park, Jr.
This book was the “putting bible” of it’ time, plus the “golf how to book” of its generation. It makes an excellent gift for yourself or someone else. A collector’s item, this book provides fascinating insights into the game then and now. Providing tips and techniques from a bygone era that still ring true, the book is a comprehensive guide to how to putt and improve your short game
- Putting Out of Your Mind by Dr. Bob Rotella
From one of the game’s acknowledged authorities, the book discusses a unique mental approach that great putting requires by golfers at every level of play. The book encourages golfers to go out of their way to master the art of putting. The effort begins with the understanding of the right attitude—an attitude that emphasizes why you need to be a better putter. The book even includes mental rules that have helped some of the greatest golfers in the world become champion putters.
- Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton’s Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke by Dave Stockton & Mathew Rudy
The putting principals in this book can transform your game. After all, they helped Phil Mickelson win the 2010 Masters. Stockton is a top coach that’s taught a long list of pro players, including Annika Sorenstam, Yani Tseng, Adam Scott, and Hunter Mahan. Stockton’s breakthrough concept is that every golfer has his or her signature stroke that’s unconscious. With visualization, the right frame of mind, an efficient pre-putt routine, and a connection to the individual internal stroke signature, any player can make far more putts.
- Lights Out Putting by Todd Stones
Having a great putting stroke is fantastic, but there’s much more to putting than your stroke. Stones takes a mind, body, and soul approach to mastering the elusive art of putting. He discusses the proper fundamentals of putting, the correct putting setup, reading putting greens, pre-stroke routine, but also covers tactics, drills, and the mindset required. In other words, everything that you need to become a great putter. Todd Sones has been recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the top 100 Golf Instructors in America.
7. The Art of Putting: The Revolutionary Feel-Based System for Improving Your Score
What do PGA stars Haas, Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen, and Darren Clarke all have in common? They’ve all sought advice from Stan Utley, a well-known name in pro golf. In a welcome change from mechanistic and overly-complex putting “systems,” Utley’s approach breaks down the putting stroke to a simple, natural motion, revealing a straightforward method for learning this sure, repeatable stroke. He guides you through the proper fundamentals of putting, a primer on club design, and tips on finding the right putter for you given your swing.
These seven golf instruction books can help you take your putting to the next level. They’ll have you cutting strokes from your score in no time. If you’re serious about breaking 80, these books can help.
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Drain More Putts with these 10 Truths About Putting
Reading golf instruction books is a great way to help your game. Among the best is David Pelz’s Short Game Bible. This book is a classic. When it came out, everyone considered it groundbreaking and revolutionary. It showed golfers how to unearth their weaknesses and improve them.
Eleven of Pelz’s professional students have won a total of 21 Majors. Clearly, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to the short game. Below are Pelz’s ten truths about putting.
- Putting is important
- Aim is critical
- Keep your stroke on line through the impact zone
- Face angle is even more important than stroke path
- You’re only as skilled as your impact pattern.
- Putts left short never go in.
- Proper putt speed comes from proper rhythm
- Putting is a learned skill
- Be patient (Have the patience to learn to be a good putter.
- Putting is like life (Believe in yourself)
These “truths” are all great golf tips on putting. But there is another “truth” we’d like to add that we think is critical as well—Have putting confidence. Confidence in putting is everything. And the best way to build putting confidence is to practice, practice, practice. Confidence is something Pelz talks about in all his golf instruction books.
Below is a putting game Pelz created to help you with lag putting—a key area of weakness for weekend golfers. Why? They don’t practice it enough. Pelz’s game makes practice fun:
Use Pelz Phony Holes if you do not have fixed cups. Set the phony holes at 40-feet, 50-feet, and 60-feet from your starting point.
Putt three balls from the starting point to the 50-foot hole. Judge each of the three putts to see if they are within the lag putt safe-zone. The ‘safe-zone” for lag putts is a 34-inch circle (about a putter length) around the cup. So up to 34-inches short of the hole is okay. Keep putting until you get all three 50-foot putts in a row in the safe-zone, then putt to the 40-foot hole and 60-foot hole, and repeat.
Your goal is to putt three balls in a row into the safe-zone at each of the 50-, 40-, and 60-foot distances. Then on your last putt, go to the 50-foot hole. You get one try, which puts you under pressure to finish the drill by getting your tenth in a row into the safe-zone.
You probably won’t get ten in a row on your first try at this golf drill, but track your progress and try to beat your previous best. There’s nothing more critical to your game than improving your lag putting and preventing three-putts. They’ll kill you—as any golf instruction book on putting will tell you.
Practice this Golf Drill to Drain More Short Putts
Golf drills offer numerous benefits. It’s why you see so many of them in golf instruction books. Among the best ways to improve your game, golf drills ingrain specific moves and help you refine technique.
To benefit from a golf drill or drills, however, you need to isolate a specific issue then practice a drill or drills addressing the issue. Missing short putts, for example, is an issue for many weekend golfers. Draining more of them cuts strokes from your scores and your golf handicap.
Below is a simple golf drill that improves your short putting:
The Three-footer Streak Golf Drill
Set up three feet away from a hole on the practice green. (Make sure you have a relatively straight putt.) Start with making five putts in a row. Then, move on to making ten straight in a row. Finally, work on making as many as you can.
To add variation to this dill, you can extend the distance from three feet to five feet. You also can start with making five putts in a row from three feet. Then, switch to making five putts in a row from four feet. Then, finish with making five putts in a row from five feet.
If you miss a putt along the way, you start over at three feet. Keep working on this golf drill until you can make short putts like these in your sleep.
This golf drill is simple but effective, which is why you’ll will probably find it in many of today’s best golf instruction books. The exercise forces you to make short putts under pressure. That’s the best way to practice.