Putting is one of the most important parts of the game of golf as is clearly illustrated by the famous saying "Drive for show and put for dough". Quite simply what that saying means is that you may be able to hit 300 yard plus drives, but if you can't putt then you may as well stop playing golf.

The average amateur golfer doesn't seem to realise that a putt of 3 feet counts exactly the same amount of strokes as a long drive and even if they do they still focus on hitting long drives and iron shots instead of improving their putting. Interesting fact, about 40% of your strokes in an average round consist of putts.

So here are a couple of pointers that should help you improve your putting.

1) When faced with a long putt of 15 feet or more, instead of trying to hole the putt, focus on trying to get the ball to stop within two feet or less of the hole. If you can consistently do this you will see a huge decrease in the number of putts you have per round. The odds of sinking a putt of 15 feet or longer are not too good and the way professional golfers approach these situations is to get the ball in the hole with just two putts. So try hit the ball within two feet of the hole and sink the next putt then move on the the following hole. It is all about damage control. If the ball goes in on the first stroke it is an added bonus, but the primary goal is never to have more than two putts.

Drill: Place tees in a circle around the hole with a radius of two feet. Then take 10 golf balls and move a distance of 15 feet or more away from the hole and try to putt each ball so that they stop within that circle. This exercise is all about feel and its aim is to teach you how hard you should hit the ball to get it to stop consistently within two feet of the hole.

2) When putting the ball do not lift your head on the follow through. This is a common mistake among amateur golfers. When lifting your head on the follow through you often forget to complete your follow through and the result of this are often mishit or misdirected putts.

To hit the ball more consistently and accurately with the putter, focus on the spot where the ball was at impact with the putter for at least three counts after striking the ball and only then lift your head to see where the ball is going. This will ensure your head and upper body stay still throughout the putting stroke and will result in better contact with the ball and better accuracy when putting.

These two simple tips should make a significant difference to your putting.

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