Putting Game: 5 to 1


If you’re just going through the motions on the practice green, then you’re wasting your time!  Improvement requires high intensity, focussed practice.

Playing games, as part of every practice session, is one of the very best ways to improve your putting, because a well designed game will force you to concentrate on the task at hand and provide valuable feedback on the state of your game.

5 to 1 is a great game for improving your confidence and your ability to perform under pressure.

This is a game where failure has consequences!

This game builds pressure, creating the kind of feelings you get when you are faced with a putt to win a tournament.  Towards the end of the game, you will feel like everything is on the line, and your ability to come through in the clutch will be severely tested.


How to Play

To play the 5 to 1 putting game, do the following:

  • Choose a hole on the practice green where you can play putts from 30’ (9m).
  • Don’t choose a hole and line that will give you a break of more than 6’, breaks severely close to the hole, has multiple breaks, or that is severely downhill.  Instead, look for a line that will test your putting ability for the putts that you most often expect to encounter on the golf course.
  • Using a tee, mark a point that is 6’ (1.8m) from the hole (2 large steps for an average adult male).
  • Striding away from the hole, use tees to mark more points at 12’ (3.7m), 18’ (5.5m), 24’ (7.3), and finally 30’ (9.1m).
  • At each point, step to the side before placing the tee so that you can play from that point without putting over the inner points or the spike marks you might make when you play from them.
  • Place 1 ball next to the tee at 6’, 2 balls at 12’, 3 balls at 18’, 4 balls at 24’, and finally 5 balls at 30’.

5 to 1 putting game Figure 1.  Setup for the 5 to 1 putting game.

  • Begin by playing putts from the 30’ point.  From here you have 5 balls, and thus 5 attempts to make the putt.
  • Once you make a putt, move in to the 24’ point, from which you have 4 attempts to make the putt.
  • Continue to the 18’ point (3 attempts), 12’ (2 attempts) and finally the 6’ point from where you only have one chance to make the putt.
  • If at any point you fail to make the putt within the allocated number of attempts, you must replace all of the balls and start from the beginning, with 5 more attempts from 30’.
  • If you block the path to the hole by leaving a putt short, move it out of the way before proceeding.

It is important that you perform your full pre- and post-shot routine for every putt.  Go through your green reading process, at least in the beginning.  Take your time to visualise the stroke, practise your quiet eye technique, try the right amount and react to the target.  Use your post-shot routine to actively build your self-image and learn from your mistakes.

You will have the advantage of multiple attempts that will refine your read, and, as you progress, of seeing the ball roll towards the hole a number of times from further out, so reading the green should be simple.

Having five attempts from 30’ may seem easy, but once you miss the first three things begin to get interesting.

By the time you get to the inner holes, the pressure will be mounting.  Missing all of your attempts from here will require you to start again.

If you miss the first attempt from 12’, then on the second try you will be under a lot of pressure.

And with the final putt you only have one attempt.  Miss this one and it will hurt!

Always make notes about your performance in your practice session log.

You may, initially, fail to complete the game within the time you have available, so make a note of the closest you managed to get to the hole.

If you’re putting really well and complete the game reasonably easily, record the total number of putts you played.

Each time you play, try to beat your best performance.  The competitive edge is crucial.


Play this game regularly, your ability to perform under pressure is a crucial element of putting success, and this ability is a skill just like any other, it can be developed, and it needs practice.

Follow the process with every putt, focus on the right things and quiet your mind, and you’ll find putting under pressure so much easier.  With practice, your confidence will soar, and the next time you’re faced with a 6-footer to win, you’ll be in a much stronger position.


This game forms part of the Golf Loopy Putt like a Champion series, the sensational new putting game improvement system that will help you to improve every aspect of your performance on the greens.  The improvements will be dramatic, and they will be permanent.


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