In studying performance at all levels for more than 25 years, I have found that there are two distinct skills needed to become a good putter: Alignment and Distance Control. Proper alignment is especially critical in the 1-Putt range. Distance control is critical to avoid 3-Putts from longer range. It is important to practice both skills. I recommend spending 60% to 70% of your practice time on the former, or putts inside 10 ft., with special emphasis on 3, 4 and 5 footers. I carry the SeeMore Triangulator in my golf bag, and do not let a week go by during the season without using it to sharpen my short putt alignment.
I like to measure skill levels in these two important skills in terms of the 50% Make distance - the distance at which a player consistently makes 50% of their putts; and, the 2.0 Distance - the distance from which a player averages 2.0 putts. Simply stated, from your 2.0 distance, you 2-Putt the vast majority. But when you don't, you 1-Putt and 3-Putt with the same frequency.
The graph above displays the 2.0 Putt distances for an array of handicap levels. The 50% Make distances are:
Tour - 8 ft., 0 Hcp - 7 ft., 5 to 15 Hcp - 6 ft. 20 Hcp - 5 ft.
Over your next few rounds try to get a feel for where your skills stand. If you would like to know precisely, log on to www.ShotByShot.com and register for our FREE Trial. We have been providing Strokes Gained Analysis to all golfers since 1992.