Putt like Jason Day
Jason Day is on track to record the best putting season ever (well, since ‘strokes gained’ started tracking such things in 2004). He’s currently gaining 1.193 shots per round against the field, giving him almost a five-shot advantage in four-round events and meaning he’s ahead of his own record of +1.130, which was the only recorded SGP above +1.00 for an entire season. A red-hot performance on the greens has seen Day record two wins in 2018 and regain a spot inside the top 10 in the world. The PGA Tour’s best putter tells GW how he does it and what you can do to hole more putts.
DISTANCE IS KING
The key to great putting is distance control. I never want to leave a putt short because you can’t make the putt if it doesn’t get there. But that doesn’t mean you should just blast away. I don’t want to see my putts finish any further than a foot past the hole. You need the right pace to take the break. Without knowing the speed of your roll, you can’t pick the line to match it.
SUPER STAT: Day has only had 14 three-putts in 756 holes this year. BE AGGRESSIVE
If you pick the line before assessing the speed, you’re going to have to hit the ball harder or softer to hold that line. You’ll do it subconsciously from putt to putt if you feel you don’t have the right line. That leads to inconsistency. So many amateurs leave putts short because they’re afraid of hitting the ball too hard. All of the good putters you see on Tour are, generally speaking, aggressive on the greens. But you have to practise a lot to develop this confidence.
SUPER STAT: Day has one-putted 322 of 756 greens this year. TRUST YOURSELF
The best piece of putting advice I have is to trust your instincts and completely commit to the speed and line you’ve chosen. Secondguessing yourself leads to manipulations during the stroke. You’re never going to putt consistently well doing that.
SUPER STAT: Day has taken a total of just 1,116 putts to complete 756 holes this year. GET A TRUE ROLL
The last thing you want is the ball to skid too much off the putter face. This is crucial on quick greens. It’s tough to judge distance accurately if your ball starts off with a hop. For a truer roll, I play the ball slightly forward of centre in my stance. This helps me hit up on the ball a little which gets it rolling sooner.
SUPER STAT: Day hasn’t missed a putt from 3ft and under this season. PRACTISE
It’s very important for you to know that I work hard on my putting – really hard. I put in about 90 minutes on the practice green every single day to help groove my technique and really hone that feel for distance. On a regular week off away from the Tour, I’ll spend two hours a day working on my putting, compared to maybe only an hour or so on my longer clubs. You don’t get anywhere without hard work, and putting often makes the difference.
SUPER STAT: Day has holed 94.44% of putts from 5ft this year, the best percentage on Tour.
“Now, since we’re playing against each other, we don’t really talk to each other about golf. If I play bad he’ll text me and give me a little pick-me-up, but it’s nothing like the old ‘this is what you need to do’ advice.” Jason Day says that Tiger Woods, who had been giving him golf advice, is a little less keen to help him out now he’s a competitor once more.