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June 23 2012

5:10 PM

On the Mark: Break the putting par

By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM The Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands provided pleasant respite for the players and their caddies after the workout they got during The U.S. Open at Olympic. Heavy overnight rains softened the conditions and certainly made the hole-locations more accessible and this made birdies the order of the day through 36 holes. The softer conditions also made the course play a little longer and a bunch of “bombers” showed up near the top of the leaderboard, but even though powerhouses like J.B. Holmes, Camilo Villegas and Blake Adams are lurking they will have to overtake scrambler-extraordinaire, Fredrick Jacobson.
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Week in and week out, Jacobson is noted on the PGA TOUR for his abilities around and on the greens. For the club golfer, I believe that Freddie is a super player to watch and learn from on many fronts. Jacobson has remained true to his style of play and has only made what appear to be only fine refinements to his swing. He has however always been a fantastic scrambler and he continues to take advantage of the course around the greens. Indeed I remember watching him play many years ago at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland. Even then I was struck at his canny ability to make pars and birdies from some less than opportune spots on the hilly European Tour venue. This week Jacobson has had 53 putts through two rounds (28 in round 1 and 25 in round 2) and he is averaging 1.615 putts per green in regulation which ranks 8th in the field. In other words, he is having another great week with the putter. There is something to learn from this and that is to strive to break what I what I term "the putting par" each round you play. In my opinion “putting par” is 30 putts per round. I believe this for various statistical reasons -- which I won’t get into -- but no matter whether you are a single-figure handicapper or a bogey-golfer I feel like par with your putter should be 30. So keep tabs on the total number of putts you take each round and record those so that you can keep track of your performance. Make it your goal to break "par" each time you go out and I am sure your scores will improve. Good luck. Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.
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