A great way to get more out of your practice sessions is to play games. By injecting in a little competition, you’ll also mimic that pressure “must-make” sensation (even more so if you bet a couple bucks). One of our favorite games to work on your putting is 21. There are many variations, but here is the way we play.
To play 21, you’ll need the following:
-A playing partner
-2 golf balls for each player
-1 or 2 putters
The objective of the game is pretty simple- make the putt or get your ball closer to the hole than your opponent. The first player to 21 wins. Here’s how the scoring breaks down.
-Closest to the pin = 1 pt
-Both balls closest to the pin = 2 pts
-Make a putt= 3 pts
-Make both putts= 7 pts
-More than 2 putts to hole out= -1 pt
Each player takes 2 consecutive shots at the hole, followed by his opponent. After all four putts have been rolled, measure which ball(s) is/ are the closest, and assign scores accordingly. Each player must hole out both balls before moving onto the next hole. Whichever player scored more points on the previous hole selects the next putt.
There are a few minor strategies involved. If you find yourself losing, it can be a good idea to attempt longer putts in the hope that your opponent 3-putts. Conversely, if you are in the lead you can try and end the game rather quickly if you elect for a few shorter putts and you’re able to convert.
Additionally, if you are the first player putting it’s a good idea to try and leave your ball just in front of the hole. By running your putt long, you give your opponent a clear shot at the hole. However, if you’re putt is short of the hole and blocking your opponent, you clearly aren’t making putts.
If you’re the second player to putt, it can be advantageous to attempt to knock your opponents ball. If his/ her ball is very close to the hole, it might be a wise strategy to try and knock it away. However, you could knock their ball in, or by missing entirely you’ll guarantee them the points anyway.
Try this fun little game out next time you and a buddy are at the golf course. It’s a great way to work on your stroke and have a little competition.