"I don't fear death, but I sure don't like those three-footers for par."
-Chi Chi Rodriguez
"I enjoy the oohs and aahs from the gallery when I hit my drives. But I'm getting pretty tired of the awws and uhhs when I miss the putt."
Putts are the most common shot in golf. They make up around 40 percent of all strokes in a round, so it's no surprise that improving your putting is one of the biggest keys to lowering your golf score. While it may not be possible to sink every putt every time-even professional golfers miss around half their putts from 6 feet away-the good news is there is an easy way for all of us to improve. That way, quite simply, is to practice, and this book will help you do just that.
The Little Book of Indoor Golf Games contains 18 "holes" of fun and increasingly challenging games that are specifically designed to improve your putting in the comfort of your home or office. In contrast to the traditional methods of repetitive drills or hitting into a ball-returning machine, this book introduces different and exciting ways to practice through games. Whether you're a single-figure handicapper or picking up a putter for the first time, playing and practicing the games in this book will improve your putting in a fun but purposeful way.
The games are designed to develop the two key elements of putting; line (direction) and length (speed). To improve the line of your putts, targets in the games are often set at a gap of 4 ¼ inches-the diameter of a golf hole. Sometimes, to sharpen your accuracy, you are required to aim at just one single tee. To work on your length, some games require you to place a line of string (which you must avoid putting over) 2 feet behind the target area. This helps you develop the important habit of putting at a speed that would take the ball beyond the hole but stop soon after it. It's very important not to putt too far past the hole because, as research by putting guru Dave Pelz shows, professional golfers rarely miss a putt from 2 feet but miss up to 15% of those tricky 3-footers. Pelz also says that an ideal putt should have enough speed to finish 17 inches past the hole. This gives the ball the best chance to hold its line and still drop into the hole.
The section in the book called "12 Simple Steps to Becoming a Better Putter" can be used to develop a sound technique and help you address any bad habits. As your skill improves, refer to the sections called "Want a Challenge?" which offer tips on how to steadily increase the level of difficulty of each game. In addition, all suggested measurements in the book are flexible so you can gradually vary them to make each game a suitable test of your own ability.
The 18 games are suitable for all ages and require little more than basic golfing equipment-a putter, balls, and some tees. You don't need a large area in your home to play since each game can be adapted to fit whatever size space you have. Although designed for playing indoors on a carpet, there is no reason why the games can't be played outside too, perhaps in a backyard or on a practice putting green.
This book is designed for one, two, or more players making it suitable for you to play either on your own or with family and friends. If you're interested in a bit of friendly competition, play the Indoor Open Championship-a round of all 18 holes-and see who the overall champion is. A section at the back of this book explains how to play and keep score.
I wish you many hours of enjoyment as you play your way through the games. By practicing your putting indoors, you'll soon see the results outside on the golf course. Finally, remember to keep track of your progress and always keep aiming to improve. As golf legend Ben Sayers once said, "A good player who is a great putter is a match for any golfer. A great hitter who cannot putt is a match for no one."