Are Putting Lessons Worth It? We Surveyed Over 100 Golfers

Golfer setting up to putt at a putting lesson and fitting

The number of putts a golfer takes during a round makes up around 40% of their score no matter their skill level.

And given the stats gurus all acknowledge you can make the quickest scoring gains by cleaning up big mistakes with your short game – for example by reducing the number of 3-putts you take – the incentives for spending some time improving your putting seem pretty clear.

One question which many golfers have around this topic though is whether specific putting lessons are worth the investment to help with their putting improvement journey.

Yes, investing in putting lessons is worth it for all golfers. Starting at $15 with a specialist putting coach they deliver expert feedback that ensures your practice is directed and focused. This can help correct bad habits and improve technique and confidence on the greens where you can most quickly lower your scores.

Different golfers have challenges with different parts of the game however, and many of course feel that it is better to spend their hard-earned money on lessons that help them hit the ball better and further rather than on putting which everyone would likely agree is an easier skill to pick up initially.

Speaking from personal experience though I can hand on heart say putting lessons are worth it, especially in the online world of today which enabled me to get help from one of the best putters in the history of the PGA Tour to dramatically improve my putting.

Is It Worth Getting a Putting Lesson? My Experience Says Yes

A while back I was having a huge amount of trouble with my putting.

Despite being a single-figure handicapped golfer for most of my golfing life I was having a terrible time on the greens. I had lost a huge amount of confidence to the extent that I was struggling to register much less than 40 putts a round on a consistent basis.

As a result, I decided to do something about it and went out and bought a bunch of putting mats in an effort to encourage me to spend some more time at home working on my putting stroke.

You can see the results of our review of 7 of the most popular putting mats on the market here, but what was most interesting following this exercise were the comments which started to appear thick and fast on the various review videos we did.

I’ve listed a number of them below, and while there was a broad range of comments, the consensus among them seemed to be that the reason I was putting so poorly was because I had the toe of the putter too far off the ground.

YouTube comments received from viewers of the Golfing Focus YouTube channel of their opinions of a fault with a putting stroke.

Stop doing that by standing more upright and all my problems would be solved according to the feedback!

The only issue with that was such a change meant I had to change my whole putting technique which caused even worse results.

So rather than rely on these free amateur YouTube tips I decided to get an online lesson through a platform called Skillest from a specialist putting coach.

And given this let me choose from a number of coaches throughout the world I was able to buy a lesson from one of the best putters of the post-2004 Shotlink era on the PGA Tour.

Greg Chalmers is an Australian pro golfer, and one of only 4 men to have the lowest strokes gained putting average throughout a PGA Tour season on more than one occasion, so given these credentials if anyone was going to be able to tell me what was wrong with my putting I felt confident it would be him!

And the great thing was within one lesson he had given me a clear plan to help improve my putting and also crucially to give me back my confidence with the shortest club in the bag.

Like the above comments he identified a key issue with my putting, and what was making it inconsistent was indeed the lie angle, but what was not a problem however it turned out was my technique and my putting stroke.

His recommendation therefore to simply alter the putter I had and have it bent so it lay flat on the ground without any other major adjustment on my part has transformed my putting and given me a huge boost on the greens.

So I for one would unquestionably say a putting lesson is worth it given my experience and you can see an example of some of the feedback I got from my lesson in the video below.

[Editor’s note – For those of you interested in getting coaching from renowned golf instructors anywhere in the world GET 15% OFF ANY LESSON PURCHASE AND 15% OFF THE FIRST MONTH OF A SUBSCRIPTION at Skillest – https://golfingfocus.com/product/skillest-online-golf-coaching/ – BY USING OUR DISCOUNT CODE – GOLFINGFOCUS15.]

Are Putting Lessons Worth It For Beginners? 100+ Survey Results

While getting lessons to help with your golf swing is something that no golfer would really think too much about, coaching aimed specifically at diagnosing faults with your putting is undoubtedly much less common.

It is difficult to know why exactly that is, and not only are questions often posed as to whether putting lessons in general are worth it, but queries also seem to frequently be raised as to whether lessons focused solely on putting are only relevant to beginners or high handicappers.

Golfing Focus’ survey of 100+ golfers found that 57% said putting lessons are worth it for anyone. 8% stated they only help beginners/high handicappers while 20% believe they are a waste of money. 10% were of the view you should only get them from a recognized putting coach with 5% stating a preference for a putter fitting.

Based on these results it would appear close to 3/4 of those surveyed felt that putting lessons were worth it and given an additional 5% stated a preference for a putter fitting over a putting lesson it is arguable going through such a process will help you a lot with your putting also.

We take a detailed look at what is involved in a putter fitting in another article here, but given a session with an experienced fitter gives key insights into golfers’ putting strokes – and their ideal putter weight, length, loft, lie angle, and design – we would suggest a fitting also gives you a lesson at the same time.

It was however still surprising to find close to 1/5 of those surveyed giving a clear view that they believed putting lessons to be a waste of time and money.

Compared to the very unnatural series of complex movements that are involved in the golf swing the putting stroke is a much simpler motion whose target fundamentals are simple and twofold:

  1. Putting the ball in a ‘straight line’ with the ball rolling ‘end over end’, and
  2. Putting the ball the correct distance.

If a beginner can build a putting stroke that allows them to do these two things reasonably well from the early stages in which they take up the game that will, as we have already noted, give them a great foundation for an element of the game that will make up around 40% of the strokes they will always take.

As a beginner is also clean slate who hasn’t yet picked up bad habits that need to be unlearned this would seem a great time and opportunity to instil the right techniques from the off with the help of a good putting coach.

Another factor to consider is that putting is a bit of an equalizer.

It’s not about strength or power, but about precision, technique, and feel. Even as a beginner, you can compete with more experienced players on the green if you’ve got a good putting technique and that can provide great boosts of confidence as you get started on your golfing journey.

Finally given not many regular golfers would in our view advise against someone new to the game taking lessons to help them with their golf swing it would therefore seem a bit curious surely not to suggest that they get a bit of help with their putting from a good coach also?

Golfing Focus survey results to the question - are putting lessons worth it?

Find the Right Putting Coach: Free, Online or In-Person Lessons?

When it comes to the subject of putting lessons, or any golf lessons for that matter, a common comment that we hear is, “I don’t need any because I can just watch free YouTube putting lessons online, get what I need from there and practice on my own.”

YouTube is indeed and without doubt, a great source of golf tips and free content and we would never for one minute argue that there are not some amazing free putting lessons on there and online in general for all standards of golfers.

What we would say though is that, even if you simply watching some putting coaching online, it is important that you are taking tips and instruction from an instructor or coach that is ideally suited to you.

Because in short one tip from an ideally suited teacher can be much more valuable than 5 or 6 from someone you just don’t click with or even don’t like.

Indeed putting tips from an ill-suited source or instructor can make your game worse. Just look at my own experience with all the ‘helpful’ pointers I was receiving in relation to my own putting problems that we noted earlier.

In addition we would argue that where putting lessons can set themselves apart from simply following some advice online is that you will get direct and personal feedback on ‘how’ you are implementing those tips.

Getting better at putting, or any skill, requires ‘deliberate practice’ and if you have ever wondered why you sometimes get worse no matter how much you play – a topic we explore in-depth here – your lack of such targeted practice will most likely be the reason.

The volume of practice you put in will not improve your putting unless it is combined with goal setting, focus, and expert feedback and if you take putting lessons from the right coach great expert feedback is exactly what you will get.

A good instructor will provide real-time feedback in an in-person lesson – or through computer-assisted help online – correct your mistakes and help you refine your putting technique in a way that on many occasions your own practice based on a YouTube video just can’t.

Of course, and as we have already noted, not all putting lessons are the same and it is important that you take some time to find a coach who understands your style, your strengths, and your weaknesses.

In the same way that you most likely enjoyed some of your old school teacher’s classes more than others the same will be the case with putting lessons so it is worth doing some research to find out which teacher you feel will best help you.

Is there a particular teaching style you prefer? Do you want a specialist putting coach or a coach who covers all aspects of the game and can potentially help you in other areas too in the future?

Ask around in your local area about the teachers or search online for reviews if you prefer your lessons in person near where you live.

Or if you want to cast the net wider, and are comfortable with the video analysis that can be carried out with a putting lesson online, you can search platforms like Skillest to see what putting coaches are out there.

And once you’ve found them then that is time to look at cost which is of course more than likely going to be the key factor in your decision of whether a putting lesson is worth it or not.

The variance in costs of putting lessons can of course be wide and varied, and often dependent on the profile of the coach, but to help we’ve done some research to give you a guide to the typical cost of private and online putting lessons from a PGA qualified instructor in the US and the UK.

PUTTING LESSON TYPEUSAUK
Online lesson (Recorded Video Analysis)$15 – $225£12 – £99
Online lesson (Live Zoom Session – 30 minutes)$50 – $120£40 – £96
Private lesson (60 minutes)$75 – $150£45 – £150
[Note – Certain online coaches will provide a free initial online consultation]

I was very fortunate to find a specialist putting coach like Greg Chalmers who was amazingly good value price-wise given his putting credentials and who was happy to adapt his teaching style to suit me.

It has made all the difference to my putting and with a bit of time spent researching which instructor is most likely to suit you we are pretty confident you will find a putting lesson to be worth it.

Putting lessons, like any other golf lessons, might not provide an instant fix and of course, it takes time and practice to see improvement.

However as we noted right out at the outset the quickest way to lower your scores is most often to be found on the greens through better putting!

[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]

More great articles related to this topic:

Graeme Hay

Graeme Hay is the owner of GolfingFocus.com. Graeme started playing golf when he was only 4 years old and has loved the game ever since. A single figure golfer all of his adult life and a member of Royal Troon Golf Club he lives in London and still enjoys playing whenever he can with friends and family.

Recent Posts