What does ‘Putt for Dough’ mean?
It’s an expression that most golfers will recognise and yet many handicap golfers spend very little time practicing their putting. You drive for show – meaning it looks truly awsome when you get it right, but the idea of the game of golf is to get the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible
So you don’t win anything, or indeed finish anything until the putt is made – Hence the expression ‘Putt For Dough‘
What that effectively means is that putting is arguably the most important part of the game and that is why Tour pros spend so much time working on their short game and putting. If they don’t make putts, they don’t earn any money
Becoming a Great Putter
Back in the 1960s and early 1970s US golfers won virtually every major championship and European golfers did not compete on the US PGA Tour – in most cases they were not good enough.
To be truthful, I have always contended that their putting was not good enough and that was what made the difference between US and European golfers.
At that time, European golf was dominated by Great Britain as few continental golfers played over here and the European Tour was very much in its infancy.
There were a few South Africans and Australians plus Bob Charles who was virtually the sole Kiwi on tour.
From the mid 1970s and into the 1980s, the likes of Ballesteros and Faldo became great putters and the tide of US domination of golf receded.
In my opinion, British golfers recognised the importance of improving their putting to enable them to compete on a world stage. Since then the modern era of golf has shown that to win worldwide you need an allround game and putting is right at the forefront of importance.
So how do you become a great putter?
- Believe that you can make every putt
- Understand that 95% of first impressions regarding line are correct
- Don’t change your mind once you’ve taken your stance over the ball
- Practice at least 30 minutes EVERY DAY
Do not use any excuse for not practising – wherever you are, whatever surface you have can be putted on. Carpets can be putted on and used to simulate slow greens.
Tile or wood floors can simulate fast greens. When you get to grass you can use your experience of multi-surface practise to adjust much quicker and easier
How to Practice
- Concentrate on 6-10 foot putts – if you can make a high percentage of those putts you will reduce your putts per round and therefore improve your overall scoring
- Break your practice sessions into 30 minute sessions to avoid boredom and turn it into something YOU WANT TO DO
- Take 6 balls and spread them around a golf hole at varying distances between 6 feet and 15 feet
- Set yourself a target of achieving 50% success rate – increase that by 5% or 10% per session
- Record your practise sessions so you can monitor your improvement
When you achieve 90% success rate you can call yourself a good putter.
Take that success to the course with you and watch your handicap come down.
If you can play to your handicap regularly, you will sometimes play under your handicap AND WIN COMPETITIONS
All the practise you have put in becomes worthwhile because you have proven the expression PUTT FOR DOUGH and improved putting is the easiest way of handicap golfers reducing their handicap.