Which Putt Would You Pick?
The results are in from our first round of “Which Putt Would You Pick?”
In case you missed it, we've included a look at the original putt. Here are the results!
It Depends: 21%
Keep reading to find out my thoughts on our choices and what I would have picked.
About The Putt
This was a 10 foot putt on a 3% slope. The green speed is medium (Stimp 10). Several putts were hit from each spot (not shown on video) to verify typical results and “reasonably accurate” initial launch direction. For those less nerdy, that’s also called start line. The left putt played 16 inches of break while the right putt played 25 inches of break.
Left Putt - My Thoughts
The ball approached the cup with a moderate capture speed. The ball finished 32 inches away from the cup. My observation based on the comments is that most people avoided this selection because of the perceived comeback distance.
From a playing perspective, I would still be comfortable with this selection. The capture speed, how fast the ball was traveling as it approached the cup, was not unreasonably quick. That putt can still touch a good portion of the hole and expect to be holed.
Right Putt - My Thoughts
The ball approached the cup with a very slow capture speed. I would classify it as dying speed. The ball finished 16 inches away from the cup. My observation based on the comments is that most people preferred this putt because of the pleasing visual as the ball approaches the hole and the remaining comeback distance. Some comments included:
“The speed of my putt is more comfortable playing for more break”
“Has better capture speed and will end closer to the hole if it misses.”
I would definitely consider this a “safe” strategy, especially if a player struggles with 3 putting on a regular basis or does not play to scratch or better. In either of those scenarios, the first goal should be to get the ball to stop nearby and this strategy accomplishes that.
It Depends - My Thoughts
I am surprised that this option didn’t get more attention. This would be my choice. Here’s why:
As mentioned above, the right putt is a very safe putt. For my competitive players, I’m thinking that might be the decision over a birdie putt on the 3rd hole of a 54 hole event. I don’t need to be the hero this early in the tournament and certainly don’t want to introduce a possible 3 putt. Nothing bad can really happen in this scenario. For the left putt, as we discussed, the capture speed isn’t unreasonable. This read works pretty nicely for our 3% slope as well. I would use this strategy in a “must-make” scenario like one to force a playoff.
The Wrap Up
Here are a couple food for thought questions to close this. Amateur golfers - Are you using a green reading strategy that allows you to get a read that’s close enough to either of these targets?
Competitive players and professionals - If your strategy revolves around using a single stopping point past the hole, are you adjusting your read enough to accommodate that?
Just think about it.
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