Learn From The Open Champion: Phil Mickelson

August 1, 2013

Phil Mickelson In Phil’s post-round interview he summed up the reason for his terrific 5-under par 66 on the last day of The Open Championship. “I putted soooo good” Mickelson said.

Phil managed to birdie 4 of his last 6 holes in the final round of his win at The Open, and attributed it to his terrific putting. So let’s see what we can take away from Phil’s spectacular final round.

If we look at some PGA Tour stats – the percentage of putts made from within 10 feet by the leading tour player (in this stat) right now is 89.95%. So let’s just say that the average tour player makes about 80% of putts under 10 feet. That’s a pretty good stat. What percentage do you think you make from this distance?

If we think about why tour players have such a good stat here is because their lag putting is terrific – they leave themselves makable putts when outside of 10 feet. When a tour player has a 30 – 40 foot putt – there’s a great chance that they will knock it very close and two putt.

So what do you need to work on? If your lag putting (putts from a long distance to the hole) is poor – then place most of your practice time focusing on longer putts. Try to roll them within a three foot circle of the hole – and always try to get them just past the hole.

However, if your lag putting is pretty good and you struggle with short putts – then place more emphasis on this distance. Work on keeping your club face square, striking the dead center of your putter (not on the toe or heel), and especially work on your nerves while over short putts.

The emphasis on putting well can’t be underestimated. Tour players know that when they are putting well, their chances of winning are much, much greater. This means that if you putt well, your chances of scoring lower are much greater too.

So next time you head out to the golf course, either before your round or if you head there for a practice session, make sure to dedicate the majority of your time to the putting green and working on your weaknesses.

Phil Mickelson’s victory is definitely a result of his preparation and dedication to his game – especially his putting.

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