Speaking of the putter, be aware that on the green, the odds are against you. Watch the pros and you'll notice something else proven by the studious Mr. Pelz: From six feet away, the world's best golfers miss half their putts. Amateurs don't do any better.

Why are putting stats so bad? Many reasons, including not enough practice, overreading greens and mental anguish. But the fault isn't entirely yours. Unless you're in the first foursome every day, blame the green itself.

Say you're in the fourth group out. The previous 12 guys have left a few thousand footprints on the green. True, they started from different spots, but they converged at the same point: the cup. Of course, no one plops his Foot-Joys smack on the cup, but they all step about six inches away, pushing down the ground around the hole and creating a ramp exactly where your putt should be slowing down before falling in. So just as your ball is ready to drop, it hits this ramp and curls away.

Learn to make better putts with the Infinite Hole!

In his 1989 book Putt Like the Pros, Pelz labels this phenomenon "the lumpy doughnut" and shows how it's ruined more putters than the yips. With millions of new golfers tromping on courses every year, it's only going to get worse.

So what to do? Hit it hard! Scientific study has shown that you should be trying to stop the ball at a point 17 inches behind the hole – and that extra speed should be enough to keep the ball on line. In other words, if you're a lag putter, give it up. Lagging encourages deceleration of the club head, leaving the ball short. By getting it to the hole, you eliminate one.

James A. Frank is the editor of 'Golf Magazine' and the author of the Golfer's Companion (Key Porter). Men's Journal, March-April 1993

The Infinite Hole was designed to simulate the conditions found on high traffic greens. By using the Infinite Hole to practice proper speed and line, you'll sink more putts!

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