How Much of Putting is Luck?

huhhh

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lucky to play on a course where luck is less of a factor.
I think % of luck could be a ratio directlly correlated to how much you paid to play on that course.
 

Snap Hook

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I've really been working hard on my putting in the last 6 months. I even got Stan Utley's book on the Art of Putting. I have seen improvement and I've been proud of it. One of the guys I play with is..... well he's a downer flat and simple. I think he plays golf because he's not complaining enough at work or at home with his wife. LAst week he really pissed me off when I had a good day putting. Sure there was luck involved but I credit it mostly to better more consistent putting. I had two holes in a row where I drained a good 15-20 foot putts. Of course all I hear from his "Man you're so lucky today on the putting greens"
I tried to explain to him that I put the ball in a good position to get lucky but he wasn't hearing any of it.
So I told him "good Luck finding someone willing to play a round with you"
 

Tadashi70

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The worse putter you are, the more luck is involved with making it. For me luck is 114% :D
Bingo! The pros are where they are because of 1000s of hours of practice, course knowledge and an understanding of outside factors that may effect their putts.
The guy that spends no time practicing and rolls in a 50 footer for par, that's lucky!! You get out of it what you put into it....IMO


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Idrops

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I'd like to think we all agree the more practice and skilled you are at the first three things, the better the odds of sinking the putt, however, I'm talking beyond that, there seems to be a certain amount of fortune in sinking a putt. If the putt is longer, the more these idiosyncrasies influence the putt and the more "luck" or chance is involved.

The goal is to improve the first three aspects so as to reduce the amount or "percentage" of luck involved with the ball dropping into the hole.

Maybe I'm overthinking this but there are times when I feel I've hit the perfect line at the perfect speed and the ball may just graze the hole, or vice versa, when I miss hit it and luckily it does go in.
 

dtak84

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The better condition the green, the less luck. If you're putting on dirt, weeds and recently aerated greens, making anything outside of 10' probably involves slightly more luck.
 

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I'm probably in the minority here but I've never looked at putting as something that can be measured against what a "pro" could do versus what a weekend golfer can do.
In fact I think that of all the things in golf that we try to get good at, I think that putting is the one thing that anyone can get good enough at to be considered at least as good a putter as the average pro.

The reason I feel this way is because putting doesn't require any special level of "physicality", it doesn't require any unusual level of strength or conditioning and it doesn't require any specialized knowledge or execution of the swing.
All that's required to be a great putter is an ability to read a green and the ability to strike the ball firmly enough to get it to the hole and to start the ball in the proper direction.
That may seem overly simplistic to some but I don't believe it is. I have always been a good putter and though being a truly great putter does require practice, it isn't something the average person can't do.

When I'm able to practice my putting as much as I feel I need to in order to be satisfied with it, I've often said that I would have no problem going toe to toe with any pro on a putting green. They may be able to out drive me, or out pitch me, or play better irons than I do, but I guarantee I'd give them a run for their money when it comes to putting.

That may sound a little chesty, but that's how I've always looked at putting and it's probably the biggest reason why I've always considered it to be the best and most reliable part of my game. :thumb:
 

Rob Wedge

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I would say half skill and half luck i don't really know though. Cause sometimes everything rolls in and sometimes it burns the edges. It can go either way on a specific day

But my dad has always told me putting is where you make your money
Drive for show, put for dough!
 

Buckjob

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some days id like to think its ALL Luck and just accept the fact i'm not lucky! lol
 

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I'm probably in the minority here but I've never looked at putting as something that can be measured against what a "pro" could do versus what a weekend golfer can do.
In fact I think that of all the things in golf that we try to get good at, I think that putting is the one thing that anyone can get good enough at to be considered at least as good a putter as the average pro.

The reason I feel this way is because putting doesn't require any special level of "physicality", it doesn't require any unusual level of strength or conditioning and it doesn't require any specialized knowledge or execution of the swing.
Im curious if you have spent much time around tour events and their practice routines?
I used to think this exact same thing. Then I spent time with them on the putting greens. Man its scary how different they are.
Truth be told, we could say the same thing about shooting a basketball, which might take repeatable movements, but not much more. Yet I dont think too many average amateurs would be as good with some practice and aim as an average NBA player.

As to giving them a run for their money. I used to say that too....Man was I wrong. I am a darn good putter at times (outing approved). Its not even close how much better even bad pros are than we are on the putting green. Im not sure if you have spent too much time around tour events or not, but next time you do go, check out the drills they are doing. Its sickening.
 

huhhh

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Nah...they're just lucky:curl-lip:
 

JB

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Watching guys like Billy Hurley make about 40 in a row from 10 feet through this training aid was impressive.

 

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Watching guys like Billy Hurley make about 40 in a row from 10 feet through this training aid was impressive.

ummm yeah, I wouldnt even get it through there. It goes to show that you need to just focus on speed and the first couple of inches of the putt
 

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ummm yeah, I wouldnt even get it through there. It goes to show that you need to just focus on speed and the first couple of inches of the putt
Yeah that was from Bay Hill. I mean it was Billy Hurley, not Tiger Woods. I told him that I was a pretty good putter. I only got 7 out of 10 even through the thing (which I was pretty proud of), never mind making about 40 in a row. Watching what these guys do outside of TV is incredibly interesting. Its both humbling and mesmerizing.
 

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Yeah that was from Bay Hill. I mean it was Billy Hurley, not Tiger Woods. I told him that I was a pretty good putter. I only got 7 out of 10 even through the thing (which I was pretty proud of), never mind making about 40 in a row. Watching what these guys do outside of TV is incredibly interesting. Its both humbling and mesmerizing.
No doubt, a guy that you never hear of with mad skills. I agree.

You have one or did he let you do it? or did I look to far into that post and miss the humor
 

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No doubt, a guy that you never hear of with mad skills. I agree.

You have one or did he let you do it? or did I look to far into that post and miss the humor
He let me do it out there. He said the over/under was 6, so I got that. But I only made 5 out of the 10 (still not bad).
 

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I need that training aid. I don't think a lot of people realize how good these pros are. I mean take that one or two shots per round you "pure" and add that to every shot. It's absolutely unreal.
 

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He let me do it out there. He said the over/under was 6, so I got that. But I only made 5 out of the 10 (still not bad).
Thats awesome! Even more awesome that you got the over.
 

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Is that the Pelz putting aid?
 

JWLI

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Im curious if you have spent much time around tour events and their practice routines?
I used to think this exact same thing. Then I spent time with them on the putting greens. Man its scary how different they are.
Truth be told, we could say the same thing about shooting a basketball, which might take repeatable movements, but not much more. Yet I dont think too many average amateurs would be as good with some practice and aim as an average NBA player.

As to giving them a run for their money. I used to say that too....Man was I wrong. I am a darn good putter at times (outing approved). Its not even close how much better even bad pros are than we are on the putting green. Im not sure if you have spent too much time around tour events or not, but next time you do go, check out the drills they are doing. Its sickening.
I've been to tour events and I've seen pro's work out with drills and such.

I'll say this, the pro's who work out with just a couple of balls and just roll putts to various locations seem to me to be far more formidable putters than the ones who work out with the putting aids.
I personally don't believe in putting aids of any kind as I believe putting is more about instinct than anything else. I don't have a mechanical stroke and even my setup varies a bit depending on how I feel, so there really is no putting aid that would be worth bothering with because most (if not all) of them require some sort of repeatable stroke which I can't see myself doing.
That's not to say that I don't have a routine or a specific setup, it just varies a bit from time to time (or green to green).

I've putted fast greens (like tour fast) and I've putted slow greens and it generally only takes a couple of holes to figure them out and that's the way it's always been for me.
In fact, the very first time I ever went to Florida and putted some Bermuda greens, I fell in love with them immediately and had some of the best putting rounds I've ever had.

Maybe going against tour pro's would be more of a challenge than I think (or not), but all I know is that everybody does at least one thing in this game very well and for me it's always been putting.
Please don't mistake confidence for arrogance as I'm not trying to be that way and I'm not being boastful (at least I hope it doesn't sound that way).

I'm just really good at putting - especially when there's something riding on it.

What can I say? It's a gift.

Or put another way: If I could be as consistent with my irons as I am with my putter, I'd be the happiest golfer in the Western Hemisphere. :D
 

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Ill put it another way. I have never seen you play. And I would give you 50 to 1 odds against most of the pros on tour and still put my money on them...Without even blinking. Spending time out on tour as I said before, humbled me more than I would have ever believed about my putting. Like you I thought I was that darn good at it. Heck those that come to outings have seen me putt and compliment it. Im a low handicap golfer (all because of short game) and I can tell you in 1000 putting competitions, I would win not a single one with any player on the PGA Tour. If even that many.

I think us as amateurs believe because we use the same equipment, can play the same courses in some cases, and practice what we think is the same way, that we can do the things these guys do. These guys are the elite of the elite in EVERY facet of the game.

Id love to be wrong though, and hope at some point you can come down to a THP Outing and showcase those skills. Would be honored to have you and see the exhibition.
 

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I have to agree with JB's assessment of the pros putting. While I do not have close up experience with them, when I was a kid I was pretty good at baseball. I went to a Yankee tryout camp and I will NEVER sit in the stands and yell "you bum" at any pro athlete. They are INCREDIBLE and I am sure golfers are equally amazing.
 

hartattack52

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I don't think there is much luck involved. If you get a good line, the right speed, and put a good stroke on the ball, it usually drops. There is a reason the pros are so good at putting.
 

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I can't really recall ever having a lucky putt. My friend once hit a green on a par three by pushing his tee shot 30 yards to the right and having it bounce off a stone marker for the next tee and then right back onto our green. That's luck.
I've had some drives where I got luck and the tree gods bounced me back into the fairway. That's luck.

Having the ball go where you aim isn't luck.
 

JWLI

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Ill put it another way. I have never seen you play. And I would give you 50 to 1 odds against most of the pros on tour and still put my money on them...Without even blinking. Spending time out on tour as I said before, humbled me more than I would have ever believed about my putting. Like you I thought I was that darn good at it. Heck those that come to outings have seen me putt and compliment it. Im a low handicap golfer (all because of short game) and I can tell you in 1000 putting competitions, I would win not a single one with any player on the PGA Tour. If even that many.

I think us as amateurs believe because we use the same equipment, can play the same courses in some cases, and practice what we think is the same way, that we can do the things these guys do. These guys are the elite of the elite in EVERY facet of the game.

Id love to be wrong though, and hope at some point you can come down to a THP Outing and showcase those skills. Would be honored to have you and see the exhibition.
You know what?

You're probably right about the pro's, but I think it would be a heckuva lot of fun to go against them just to see how good they are and how I'd measure up! I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen? Whether I'd win or get my arse handed to me, I'd be able to chalk up a great experience and I'd definitely learn some things.

That's a win/win to me. :thumb:

And as for the Outing, I think that would probably be even more fun!

Look, whether I could or couldn't go toe to toe with a pro (hey, that rhymes :D), I still think I'm an excellent putter and I'd rather see myself that way than to think I'm not.
A very big part of being successful at something like golf is to "act as if", meaning that if I act as if I'm the greatest putter on earth, I may not ever actually earn that particular title, but chances are I'll end up being a lot better putter than if I didn't think that way.

At any rate JB, maybe someday we'll get a chance to play together and then we can throw a few shekels on the practice green and have at it! The worst that could happen in that case would be that one of us would be down a few bucks and both of us would have a great time!

Nothing wrong with that, right?
 

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