What is a birdie putt?

Neilds

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Watching the Open, the commentators are always saying ‘xxx is putting for a birdie” even when the player is about 70-80 feet, or further away. What do you consider to be a birdie putt when you are playing? If I am more than 20-30 feet away I am looking to get it close and don’t usually think about it being a birdie chance
 

Imurg

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About 15 feet for me. Outside that I'm going to need more luck than judgement to hole it.
Even at 10 feet I'm more likely to miss.
From 15 feet, although I'm obviously trying to hole it, I'm more concerned with not 3 putting.
The number of times I see people going for a birdie from that distance, running it 6 feet past and missing the par putt coming back.
I'm happy to nudge it up to a foot and take the par.
If it goes in it's a bonus.
 

Slab

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Eleven ft and in is a birdie chance, or at least that's about the distance when I'll have an unconscious thought of birdie
 

Backache

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Missed a birdie putt of 18 inches or less yesterday. But I'm always looking to hole every putt though beyond about 12-15 feet I'm trying to hit dead weight.
To be fair to the commentators I think they are trying to state the current position of the player rather than the likelihood of holing. They also refer to par putts and bogey putts etc.
 

Orikoru

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Any putt that's for birdie is a birdie putt. I didn't think it meant only putts that you have a good chance of making. I suppose 15 feet and in is a decent birdie chance.

I've been reading Rotella's putting book the last couple of weeks, he doesn't seem to believe in lag putts really, or rolling it to a 'dustbin lid' as some people call it. He says why make the target 3 foot, if you miss that, it's now 5 foot. You might as well try and hole every putt. That doesn't mean knocking it 6 foot past which is obviously what we're all worried about when we putt that way - it means playing it the right pace to get to the hole. I find myself agreeing with that, too often in the past when I'm worried about running it too far past, think I'll lag it for a two putt - I'll leave it 5 foot short and miss the next one anyway.
 
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jim8flog

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I am also reminded of Colin Montgomerie's comments on putting

"How often do you hit a putt that is a yard wide of the hole and how often do you hit a putt that is a yard short or long of the hole?"
 

Canary_Yellow

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Watching the Open, the commentators are always saying ‘xxx is putting for a birdie” even when the player is about 70-80 feet, or further away. What do you consider to be a birdie putt when you are playing? If I am more than 20-30 feet away I am looking to get it close and don’t usually think about it being a birdie chance

I’ve been playing at the local short course with my 7 year old recently, whenever he’s on the green in regulation, even if miles away, I tell him it’s a birdie putt. Partly because it’s fun, partly because I want him to concentrate and give it his best, and partly because it’s simply a fact.

A birdie putt is a birdie putt, whether it’s 100ft or 3 inches.
 

sunshine

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The number of times I see people going for a birdie from that distance, running it 6 feet past and missing the par putt coming back.
I don’t understand this comment. Are you saying that you are not going for a birdie from 20 feet? You are deliberately trying to miss it to leave yourself a tap in?
 

Orikoru

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I don’t understand this comment. Are you saying that you are not going for a birdie from 20 feet? You are deliberately trying to miss it to leave yourself a tap in?
I will relate something I noticed in my partner on Saturday as I think it's relevant to what @Imurg meant. Every time I had secured the par and he had a birdie putt (it was betterball) he would say something like "right I can give this a proper go then" or words to that effect - and then hit it much too hard to ever drop in. A lot of people have this weird mentality where not worrying about the putt after it makes them think that they can putt it much harder (and as I say, end up hitting much too hard to have any chance). To me it doesn't affect anything, I want to hit it at the right speed to drop in regardless of whether I need the one after it or not. Being 'free' to knock it six foot past isn't as helpful as people like to think, because at that speed it's probably not going in anyway.
 

Imurg

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I don’t understand this comment. Are you saying that you are not going for a birdie from 20 feet? You are deliberately trying to miss it to leave yourself a tap in?
No
I'm saying that from that distance I'm more likely to miss than hole it
I'm always trying to hole every putt but from that distance I don't get grumpy if I miss it.
But I'm also making sure that I don't 3 putt.
I do see players, who have a birdie putt, "going for it" desperately trying to get the birdie, missing 6 feet long and missing the putt coming back.
Many will say they'd rather miss by 3 or 4 feet long than 1 foot short.
That makes no sense to me because it's missed and you've got a longer putt...yes, it may have gone in but it didn't and you're further away.
3 putts kill cards.
 

Orikoru

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No
I'm saying that from that distance I'm more likely to miss than hole it
I'm always trying to hole every putt but from that distance I don't get grumpy if I miss it.
But I'm also making sure that I don't 3 putt.
I do see players, who have a birdie putt, "going for it" desperately trying to get the birdie, missing 6 feet long and missing the putt coming back.
Many will say they'd rather miss by 3 or 4 feet long than 1 foot short.
That makes no sense to me because it's missed and you've got a longer putt...yes, it may have gone in but it didn't and you're further away.
3 putts kill cards.
I agree with you. If it was on line but a foot short then that was a much better putt than going 4 foot past, presumably not on line since it didn't hit the hole. It means the speed was better, the line was better, and the leave is better as well.
 
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sjw

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One of the things I like is on the PGA Tour coverage they give the make % as well as saying birdie or other putt.
As long as it's make rates from a distance and not make rates inside a distance. The latter is useless.
 
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