Putt for dough without a doubt. When I got down to my lowest index I was putting like god, slow creep up over the last half dozen years to 6.7 now, final round of the year was 15 over par containing 42 putts
When I first started properly playing last year my driving was so woeful that it was costing me at least 10 shots a round on my fairly tight tree-lined home course at the time - either with lost balls or having to play back into position from awful locations.
If I'd held a handicap I reckon it would have been in the mid to high 20s based on the fact I was rarely breaking 100.
Its now 11.4 and I reckon that's largely because of a driving lesson I had that made it one of my more reliable shots.
Less lost balls, better positions for 2nd shots.
That said my short game still needs loads of work so I may have a different opinion on how important putting is to me come next season.
It isnt even a debate. If you took the worlds golfers, and compared the improvement that would happen if you made them all instantly drive as well as the best driver in the game, with the improvement if you instead made them all putt like the best putter, it is no contest.
You cannot reliably putt (sic) the ball into the hole if you are a long way from the hole on the green.
You cannot hit the ball close to the hole with your 2nd shot if it is played from the cabbage or the trees.
Ergo you need to be good off the tee to give yourself a chance of hitting the green...then once you have started hitting the green regularly you need to improve your accuracy/skill with your irons to make your first putt shorter.
Once your first putt is shorter then you will find yourself holing more putts.
Some people might interpret that as "your putting has improved"...but it hasn't....its just improvements to the rest of the game suddenly makes the game on the green so much easier. Sure, once you've reached a certain standard then the gains to further improvments in driving will be marginal and then working on the putting stroke might help.....but for the vast majority of amateurs...yep....they would do best to improve their driving and iron play.
If you three putt the first green for bogey, could that affect your mood on your next tee shot?
If you one putt the first green for bogey, could that affect your mood on your next tee shot?
If you one putt for birdie could that affect your mood on your next tee shot?