Most of us weekend hacks tend to compare our games with the pros based on distance off the tee or clubs needed for approaches. But few know typically how many putts are required during an 18-hole round. GolfDigest.com’s Joel Beall relays some good-to-know stats on the other parts of our struggling games using Game Golf Live tracking system to provide some telling numbers.
We broke it down in two questions. The first: How many putts does the average golfer take per round? The answer: 34 strokes. For context, Phil Mickelson leads the tour with 27.21 putts per round; out of the top 200 in the category, Ryan Blaum, Vaughn Taylor and Blayne Barber come in at No. 100 with a 29.1 mark.
However, those numbers need more information. Chiefly, what percentage of a player’s score comes from putting? According to Game Golf, we use the putter 41.3 percent of the time (including from the fringe). As for the rest of the short game, from 100 yards and in, that number balloons to 60 percent. In theory, we should be trimming our driving range time with the driver and irons in favor of the short-game area, correct?
Well, not necessarily. While it’s true you could use practice on those tricky 10-footers, becoming more accurate with your irons will shorten your follow-up putts, increasing the likelihood of conversion. And those approach shots are a heck of a lot easier coming down the fairway rather than farther back in the rough. (For what it’s worth, the average golfer hits the fairway 48.5 percent of the time, with the most likely miss coming to the right at 28.5 percent.)
Now ya know. Yeah, putting practice isn’t the most fun activity but it certainly can quickly lower scores upon improvement.