When they're not begging for gimmies or scooping them up anyway, amateur golfers generally aren't good at making putts from inside 10 feet. Which, if you think about it, is actually quite funny.
There are a million reasons why you're not physically capable of hitting a driver 350 yards, like a PGA Tour player. But in theory, with a motion as simple as a putting stroke, there's nothing physically stopping us from making as many seven footers. And yet, we make a lot less of them anyway.
As you can see right here.
So, why do we miss so many of them? And why do pros make so much more of them? That was the question posed and discussed by renowned golf biomechanist Dr. Sasho Mackenzie at Andrew Rice's recent Coach Camp conference.
The PGA Tour's Sean Martin was on-site at the event, and relayed some of Mackenzie's interesting findings based on an experiment he conducted on a group of average golfers hitting 12ft putts.
2 reasons you DON'T miss putts
Technically golfers are capable of missing putts in all kinds of ways, but Mackenzie found that two reasons tend to be vastly overrated.
1. Stroke path gives you some room for error
With a square putter face angle, you'd need to swing the putter head severely in-to-out or out-to-in (about 3.5 degrees, which is a lot) in order to push or pull the putt enough to miss a 12 footer.
2. Off-center hits aren't as bad as you think
Off-center hits just aren't the penalty you may think they are. Assuming a square putter face, you'd need to miss the center of the putter face by about 11 millimeters for the putt to miss (which again is a lot).
2 reasons you DO miss putts
On the other hand, there are some reasons that make it more likely that you're going to miss a putt
1. Bad face angle
Golfers only have a margin of error of 0.7 degrees when it comes to their face angle at impact on their putts, according to Dr. Mackenzie. Meaning that if the putter face is more open or closed than that you’re going to miss the putt. This is the cause of more than 40 percent of all misses, so remember: A square putter face is king.
2. Bad speed control
Hitting the putt too hard (through the break) or too soft (under the break) is a primary cause of missing breaking putts. The more the slope increases, the more the importance of speed control.