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Stroke Savers: Top 10 Putting Books | Essential Reading for Golfers

best putting books

Whether you are a beginner seeking to build a solid foundation or a seasoned player hoping to shave a couple more strokes off your scorecard, putting books and manuals can help golfers of all levels sharpen their skills. While nothing beats time on the practice green, putting books allow golfers to learn at their own pace, repeatedly reference technical illustrations, and implement lessons during their next practice session or round.

Statistics

In our post on the “Best Putting Aids,” we dropped some statistics that are worth repeating here, just to reinforce the importance of putting.

  • On the PGA Tour, putting accounts for 43% of all strokes taken. 
  • The average PGA Tour pro makes just under 29 putts per round. The best putters on tour average around 27 putts, while the worst lag behind at over 31 putts per round.
  • For amateur golfers, putting makes up an even higher percentage of their score. Putting accounts for 48% of an amateur’s strokes per round.
  • Amateur golfers average 36 putts per round, with lower handicappers around 33 and higher handicappers closer to 40.
  • A key statistic is the number of three-putts per round. PGA Tour pros average just 2-3 three-putts per tournament. Amateurs average 3-4 three-putts per round, losing multiple strokes each round just on 3-putting.

We’ve selected our favorite putting books and audiobooks that can help improve your stroke, mental game, and provide you with countless drills and games to work through. Many of these selections can be found in audiobook format as well, so check out our post “Enhance Your Producivity, Elevate Your Game,” to learn more about utilizing audiobooks to multitask and get more out of your game.

On our list, we have books from legends like Jack Nickalus and Dave Stockton, as well as multiple selections from Dave Pelz and Bob Rotella. One of the books on the list will even challenge the conventional wisdom and approach to putting. These books contain knowledge and insights from some of the legends of the game as well as leading instructors who have mentored and coached elite players. Equipped with knowledge from these books, golfers can develop sound putting techniques, commit them to muscle memory, and experience what it takes to become a confident putter under pressure.

putting practice books

Our Top 10 Golf Putting Books

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Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible

Summary: Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible provides a comprehensive, scientific approach to analyzing and improving your putting, with insights on proper aim, reading greens, ideal stroke mechanics, and effective practice routines.  Pelz emphasizes the importance of consistent alignment, face angle, pace, and directional control for improving putting skill. This detailed guide aims to help golfers master the greens by understanding the physics and biomechanics involved in an effective, repeatable putting stroke.

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Instinct Putting
by Eric Alpenfels, Bob Christina, Cary Heath

Summary: Instinct Putting promotes a counterintuitive technique of looking at the hole rather than the ball while putting, based on scientific tests showing improved results. The book explains how focusing visual attention on the target taps into the brain’s innate ability to perform complex tasks through unconscious processing. With simple steps to retrain traditional putting methods, Instinct Putting aims to boost putting skill by emphasizing proper alignment and distance control. This unique guide provides golfers with an unconventional but effective approach to conquer the mental game of putting.

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Putting My Way
by Jack Nicklaus

Summary: In Putting My Way, Jack Nicklaus shares his comprehensive approach to mastering the art of putting, drawn from his decades of experience and success. Nicklaus provides practical advice on equipment, mechanics, reading greens, practice techniques, and strategy to build a repeatable, confident stroke.  This detailed putting guide aims to help golfers lower scores by improving their skill on the greens, the game’s most crucial yet neglected area. See our other posts on Nicklaus, “The Nickalus Head Swivel: A Study in Left Eye Dominance,” and “Golf Swing Thoughts: Unclutter Your Mind.”

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Putting Out of Your Mind
by Bob Rotella

Summary: Putting Out of Your Mind emphasizes the mental aspect of putting over mechanics, advising golfers to trust their instincts and focus on the target rather than obsessing over technique. Rotella encourages a decisive, confident mindset, a simple pre-shot routine, and commitment to the read and stroke to improve putting skill. This mental approach to putting aims to help golfers get out of their way and tap into their natural ability to roll the ball into the hole.

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Unconscious Putting
by Dave Stockton

Summary: In Unconscious Putting, the legendary Dave Stockton shares his approach to mastering putting by tapping into your mind’s innate ability to perform complex tasks unconsciously. Stockton advocates visualizing the putt’s path, adopting an efficient pre-shot routine, and making a confident stroke focused on rolling the ball on your intended line. With strategies to improve reading greens, equipment, and managing emotions, Unconscious Putting aims to help golfers get out of their way and unlock their signature putting stroke.

Puttlink Smart Ball

The PuttLink Smart Ball is a revolutionary putting training aid that connects wirelessly to your mobile device to provide real-time feedback and stats. It calculates true roll distance, green speed, entry pace, make percentage, and more to help you practice smarter, track progress, and lower your scores. With adjustable difficulty levels, multiple ball types, and fun competitions, the PuttLink Smart Ball makes putting practice engaging for golfers of all skill levels. This innovative smart ball takes the guesswork out of becoming a better putter.

The key benefits include:

  • Provides real-time putting stats and feedback
  • Calculates useful metrics like distance, green speed, make percentage
  • Adjustable difficulty and ball types for all skill levels
  • Makes practice more engaging and fun
  • Takes the guesswork out of improving as a putter

Our readers receive a 10% discount by using code PUTTSMART at checkout.

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Dave Pelz’s Putting Games

Summary: Dave Pelz’s Putting Games provides step-by-step lessons and drills for improving your putting by playing games at home, synthesizing Pelz’s techniques he teaches pro golfers like Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh. The book guides you through fine-tuning your existing putting stroke, learning new skills like green reading, and using feedback tools to track your progress. Pelz aims to help golfers lower their scores by improving their putting through convenient at-home practice games.

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Putt Like the Pros
by Dave Pelz and Nick Mastroni

Summary: In Putt Like the Pros, NASA physicist turned golf instructor Dave Pelz analyzes putting using scientific principles to guide readers through improving their stroke, reading greens, and lowering scores with feedback tools and step-by-step lessons. Pelz teaches techniques he gives pro golfers like fine-tuning strokes, creating new skills, and tracking progress with at-home practice games and drills.  The book provides Pelz’s early research and advice on becoming a better putter through proper aim, face angle, and an “on-line” stroke. Pelz amazingly has two other books on this list as well as the must have “Short Game Bible.”

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The Art of Putting
by Stan Utley

Summary: In The Art of Putting, former PGA Tour player Stan Utley breaks down the fundamentals of putting into a natural, simple stroke based on feel rather than mechanics, guiding readers to improve through proper setup, grip, alignment and swing techniques. Utley shares the advice on putting he gives pros like Peter Jacobsen and Darren Clarke, providing step-by-step lessons to fix faults, use effective practice drills, choose the right equipment, and master the mental game. By capturing solid fundamentals over complex systems, Utley teaches golfers to develop a repeatable, confident stroke that lowers scores.

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Putting Like a Genius
by Bob Rotella

Summary: In Putting Like a Genius, sports psychologist Bob Rotella provides golfers step-by-step lessons on improving their putting by visualizing success, tuning out emotions like fear, and gaining confidence through practice games and drills. Rotella shares the mental techniques he teaches professional golfers for proper aim, stroke, and green reading to help amateurs master the short game. With inspiring stories and insights, the book guides readers to become better putters and lower scores by developing a confident, repeatable stroke.

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Zen Putting
by Joseph Parent

Summary: In Zen Putting, sports psychologist Dr. Joseph Parent provides golfers lessons on improving their putting through mindfulness, confidence, and focusing on the process rather than results to master the greens.  Parent shares techniques like proper aim, stroke, and green reading he teaches pro golfers to help amateurs gain mental skills for lowering scores. With insights and step-by-step guidance, the book shows how to develop a repeatable, confident putting stroke by tuning out distractions and trusting essential abilities.

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