Golf's Six Deadly Sins: Too Many Three Putts

Published 12/07/2012 07:33:00

Golfers' tales of woe often revolve around the number of short putts missed. Sadly, this disguises the real cause of three-putting; namely, an inability to get approach putts close enough to the hole. No facet of your game is as vulnerable to self-imposed pressure as your short game. And once the trouble starts, it can be difficult to cure.

The Problem

As you are probably aware, every time you leave yourself three and four foot putts, the pressure on you to hole out increases. Eventually, you start missing them and then your confidence takes a serious knock. The situation then snowballs and you find yourself missing even more putts.

The Cure: Learn to find your range

If you can learn to develop a better feel for distance, your three-putt ratio is guaranteed to drop dramatically. There's no short cut, though. You've just got to take time on the putting green - time to work on some of our exercises.

Step 1

To improve your judgement of distance, go to one side of the putting green and putt balls to the fringe at the opposite end. Try to leave each ball as close to the fringe as possible, without actually touching it.

This enables you to concentrate solely on the weight of each putt without your having to worry too much about the direction.

Step 2

Now an example of the perfect way to conclude your practice session. Putting to random targets is an excellent exercise because it closely siulates an on-course situation.

Simply drop a dozen balls down in one spot and putt each one to a separate target - the first to 20 feet, the second to 30 feet and the third to 40 feet. Tee-pegs are ideal targets as you can move them around the green at will. Repeat this four times until you've putted a dozen balls to three separate targets.

All the time try to vary the distance and amount of break involved for each putt. This improves your ability to see a putt and produce the necessary stroke to match. That gives you the confidence and the ability to achieve the same thing when you really need it most - in a competitive situation.


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