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How good is your putting inside 10 feet? Take this test



There’s always that one guy you know — maybe he’s in your weekly foursome, or maybe it’s you — who seems to never miss putts from 10 feet and in. He makes all of his short birdie putts, and seems to miraculously save par from everywhere to keep his round going.

But how good is he compared to the best putters on Tour? And how good are you compared to the best putters on Tour? Well, you can take this test to find out.


Put a tape measure in your golf bag and take it to the nearest putting green. Then measure off 10 feet from the hole, placing tees at each foot marker from 3-10 feet, and hit 10 putts from each distance. Record your performance from each distance, and compare your scores to the percentages of the best putters on Tour from each distance.

Note: You’ll get a more accurate comparison to Tour players if you scatter the tees around the hole, and choose putts with some break. After all, how many Tour greens are completely flat? But don’t be the guy who hogs the whole practice green.


Amazing, right? The one that makes me say “WOW” is from 3-5 feet (98 percent)! Imagine if you made nearly every 4 or 5-footer throughout an entire season? Also, 61 percent from 10 feet is mind-blowing.

To improve your make percentage, check out the GolfWRX instruction articles on putting below.

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Tom F. Stickney II, is a specialist in Biomechanics for Golf, Physiology, and 3d Motion Analysis. He has a degree in Exercise and Fitness and has been a Director of Instruction for almost 30 years at resorts and clubs such as- The Four Seasons Punta Mita, BIGHORN Golf Club, The Club at Cordillera, The Promontory Club, and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. His past and present instructional awards include the following: Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Golf Digest Top 50 International Instructor, Golf Tips Top 25 Instructor, Best in State (Florida, Colorado, and California,) Top 20 Teachers Under 40, Best Young Teachers and many more. Tom is a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 25 people in the world. Tom is TPI Certified- Level 1, Golf Level 2, Level 2- Power, and Level 2- Fitness and believes that you cannot reach your maximum potential as a player with out some focus on your physiology. You can reach him at [email protected] and he welcomes any questions you may have.



  1. Tal

    Nov 29, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Is this comparing your individual performance to the best putter in each category, or just one pro with these numbers? If the latter I’d be shocked/amazed at how good this guy is. (Whose numbers are these?)

    Also, hitting the same putt 10 times in a row will eliminate green reading, giving you inaccurate numbers. Placing 10 pegs around the hole for each distance and putting them in a random order will give you a better indication of your putting skill as green reading and judging slope is a big part of putting.

  2. TexasSnowman

    Nov 28, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    ..Compared to the Best Putter on Tour from each distance, just about everyone reading this is awful… a better target would probably be to compare to the average on tour from each distance… although most of us would still be very bad.

    Pure greens do make a difference. On the rare occasion I play a nice course with pure rolling greens, I usually make more than my average percentage of putts from 15ft and under (after I adjust to the green speeds, which are usually significantly faster than the greens on the muni tracks I typically frequent).

  3. RHJazz

    Nov 26, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Seriously? Pros only miss twice for every 100 putts inside 5 feet? I must be watching the wrong pros. Now I feel even worse about my putting…

    • James

      Nov 27, 2016 at 1:36 am

      One thing to bear in mind is the PGA Tour Stats section lumps *all* putts under three feet into the three-foot mark. So every tap-in counts as a made 3ft putt. So it’s not so much that they miss twice from five feet, but that they make an inordinate amount of tap-ins that skews the percentage

  4. Denny Jones

    Nov 26, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Mark Broadie would disagree with your numbers. Pros don’t make 61% from 10′. According to Strokes gained from the pga website :

    Pros make about 38% from 10′.

    where did you get your numbers?

    • Emb

      Nov 27, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      He said these stats are for the best putter on tour from each distance not the average so yes the percentages are very high. An average tour pro wouldn’t be close to some of these numbers

  5. DaveMac

    Nov 26, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Some degree of real world adjustment is required to compare the pro’s and their snooker / pool table perfect greens and us, putting on 8 on the stimp poanna greens!

  6. Double Mocha Man

    Nov 26, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I tend to hit a lot of greens in regulation. If I had those statistics I’d never shoot above 73! Any chance i could get Mr. Spieth to putt for me?

  7. Progolfer

    Nov 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Be careful with statistics and trying to compare apples with oranges. Professionals play greens that are perfectly manicured. That plays a huge factor.

  8. SV

    Nov 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I also think the percentages seem high. 61% would be my 3-5 feet percentage, but that is why I don’t have “pro” after my name (among other reasons).

  9. Mike C.

    Nov 26, 2016 at 7:39 am

    These percentages seem high to me. For example I thought PGA Tour players averaged 75% from 5′ and 50% from 8′?

  10. James

    Nov 25, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Mine go:

    11.1 – How bad is this haha

    • M Smizzle

      Nov 25, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Mine go?
      You play at the MLK course??

      • James

        Nov 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm

        The who with the what now? These are my stats for the year so far, Smizzmeister

  11. mike

    Nov 25, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Do you happen to have the same stats for an 80 shooter?

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The Wedge Guy: The easiest-to-learn golf basic



My golf learning began with this simple fact – if you don’t have a fundamentally sound hold on the golf club, it is practically impossible for your body to execute a fundamentally sound golf swing. I’m still a big believer that the golf swing is much easier to execute if you begin with the proper hold on the club.

As you might imagine, I come into contact with hundreds of golfers of all skill levels. And it is very rare to see a good player with a bad hold on the golf club. There are some exceptions, for sure, but they are very few and very far between, and they typically have beat so many balls with their poor grip that they’ve found a way to work around it.

The reality of biophysics is that the body moves only in certain ways – and the particulars of the way you hold the golf club can totally prevent a sound swing motion that allows the club to release properly through the impact zone. The wonderful thing is that anyone can learn how to put a fundamentally sound hold on the golf club, and you can practice it anywhere your hands are not otherwise engaged, like watching TV or just sitting and relaxing.

Whether you prefer an overlap, interlock or full-finger (not baseball!) grip on the club, the same fundamentals apply.  Here are the major grip faults I see most often, in the order of the frequency:

Mis-aligned hands

By this I mean that the palms of the two hands are not parallel to each other. Too many golfers have a weak left hand and strong right, or vice versa. The easiest way to learn how to hold the club with your palms aligned properly is to grip a plain wooden ruler or yardstick. It forces the hands to align properly and shows you how that feels. If you grip and re-grip a yardstick several times, then grip a club, you’ll see that the learning curve is almost immediate.

The position of the grip in the upper/left hand

I also observe many golfers who have the butt of the grip too far into the heel pad of the upper hand (the left hand for right-handed players). It’s amazing how much easier it is to release the club through the ball if even 1/4-1/2″ of the butt is beyond the left heel pad. Try this yourself to see what I mean.  Swing the club freely with just your left hand and notice the difference in its release from when you hold it at the end of the grip, versus gripping down even a half inch.

To help you really understand how this works, go to the range and hit shots with your five-iron gripped down a full inch to make the club the same length as your seven-iron. You will probably see an amazing shot shape difference, and likely not see as much distance loss as you would expect.

Too much lower (right) hand on the club

It seems like almost all golfers of 8-10 handicap or higher have the club too far into the palm of the lower hand, because that feels “good” if you are trying to control the path of the clubhead to the ball. But the golf swing is not an effort to hit at the ball – it is a swing of the club. The proper hold on the club has the grip underneath the pad at the base of the fingers. This will likely feel “weak” to you — like you cannot control the club like that. EXACTLY. You should not be trying to control the club with your lower/master hand.

Gripping too tightly

Nearly all golfers hold the club too tightly, which tenses up the forearms and prevents a proper release of the club through impact. In order for the club to move back and through properly, you must feel that the club is controlled by the last three fingers of the upper hand, and the middle two fingers of the lower hand. If you engage your thumbs and forefingers in “holding” the club, the result will almost always be a grip that is too tight. Try this for yourself. Hold the club in your upper hand only, and squeeze firmly with just the last three fingers, with the forefinger and thumb off the club entirely. You have good control, but your forearms are not tense. Then begin to squeeze down with your thumb and forefinger and observe the tensing of the entire forearm. This is the way we are made, so the key to preventing tenseness in the arms is to hold the club very lightly with the “pinchers” — the thumbs and forefingers.

So, those are what I believe are the four fundamentals of a good grip. Anyone can learn them in their home or office very quickly. There is no easier way to improve your ball striking consistency and add distance than giving more attention to the way you hold the golf club.

More from the Wedge Guy

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Clement: Stop ripping off your swing with this drill!



Not the dreaded headcover under the armpit drill! As if your body is defective and can’t function by itself! Have you seen how incredible the human machine is with all the incredible feats of agility all kinds of athletes are accomplishing? You think your body is so defective (the good Lord is laughing his head off at you) that it needs a headcover tucked under the armpit so you can swing like T-Rex?

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How a towel can fix your golf swing



This is a classic drill that has been used for decades. However, the world of marketed training aids has grown so much during that time that this simple practice has been virtually forgotten. Because why teach people how to play golf using everyday items when you can create and sell a product that reinforces the same thing? Nevertheless, I am here to give you helpful advice without running to the nearest Edwin Watts or adding something to your Amazon cart.

For the “scoring clubs,” having a solid connection between the arms and body during the swing, especially through impact, is paramount to creating long-lasting consistency. And keeping that connection throughout the swing helps rotate the shoulders more to generate more power to help you hit it farther. So, how does this drill work, and what will your game benefit from it? Well, let’s get into it.


You can use this for basic chip shots up to complete swings. I use this with every club in my bag, up to a 9 or 8-iron. It’s natural to create incrementally more separation between the arms and body as you progress up the set. So doing this with a high iron or a wood is not recommended.

While you set up to hit a ball, simply tuck the towel underneath both armpits. The length of the towel will determine how tight it will be across your chest but don’t make it so loose that it gets in the way of your vision. After both sides are tucked, make some focused swings, keeping both arms firmly connected to the body during the backswing and follow through. (Note: It’s normal to lose connection on your lead arm during your finishing pose.) When you’re ready, put a ball in the way of those swings and get to work.

Get a Better Shoulder Turn

Many of us struggle to have proper shoulder rotation in our golf swing, especially during long layoffs. Making a swing that is all arms and no shoulders is a surefire way to have less control with wedges and less distance with full swings. Notice how I can get in a similar-looking position in both 60° wedge photos. However, one is weak and uncontrollable, while the other is strong and connected. One allows me to use my larger muscles to create my swing, and one doesn’t. The follow-through is another critical point where having a good connection, as well as solid shoulder rotation, is a must. This drill is great for those who tend to have a “chicken wing” form in their lead arm, which happens when it becomes separated from the body through impact.

In full swings, getting your shoulders to rotate in your golf swing is a great way to reinforce proper weight distribution. If your swing is all arms, it’s much harder to get your weight to naturally shift to the inside part of your trail foot in the backswing. Sure, you could make the mistake of “sliding” to get weight on your back foot, but that doesn’t fix the issue. You must turn into your trial leg to generate power. Additionally, look at the difference in separation between my hands and my head in the 8-iron examples. The green picture has more separation and has my hands lower. This will help me lessen my angle of attack and make it easier to hit the inside part of the golf ball, rather than the over-the-top move that the other picture produces.

Stay Better Connected in the Backswing

When you don’t keep everything in your upper body working as one, getting to a good spot at the top of your swing is very hard to do. It would take impeccable timing along with great hand-eye coordination to hit quality shots with any sort of regularity if the arms are working separately from the body.

Notice in the red pictures of both my 60-degree wedge and 8-iron how high my hands are and the fact you can clearly see my shoulder through the gap in my arms. That has happened because the right arm, just above my elbow, has become totally disconnected from my body. That separation causes me to lift my hands as well as lose some of the extension in my left arm. This has been corrected in the green pictures by using this drill to reinforce that connection. It will also make you focus on keeping the lead arm close to your body as well. Because the moment either one loses that relationship, the towel falls.


I have been diligent this year in finding a few drills that target some of the issues that plague my golf game; either by simply forgetting fundamental things or by coming to terms with the faults that have bitten me my whole career. I have found that having a few drills to fall back on to reinforce certain feelings helps me find my game a little easier, and the “towel drill” is most definitely one of them.

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