You split the fairway off the tee. You knock it on the putting green in regulation. You’re standing over a birdie putt. And you head for the next tee carding a bogey. What’s with 3 putting?
Sound familiar? If you’re like most golfers, this is something you almost expect to happen a few times every round. 3 putting is the fastest way to turn a great hole into a missed opportunity that leaves you saying, “What if…” after your round. Follow these 3 simple steps to make 3 putting a thing of the past.
1. Focus on Speed more than Line
When you’re in 3 putt territory, say 40+ feet from the hole, hitting the putt with the proper pace is more important than hitting it on the proper line. If you are 10 feet short or 10 feet long, it doesn’t really matter if you read the break and the slope perfectly. If you are inside 3 feet but misread the line left or right, you’ve still got a 3-foot putt left for par.
2. Aim Small, Miss Small
When faced with a lengthy putt, many people try to visualize a hula hoop around the hole that they want the ball to end up in. “Just get it close,” they murmur to themselves. This strategy can lead to 3 putts simply because the golfer is not focused enough. By picking a small, finite target, you can focus and zero in on exactly where you want the ball to go – hopefully into the hole instead of around it.
3. Remain Positive After the 1st Putt
Your first putt wasn’t your best effort, and now you’re left with a 10 footer for par. The natural temptation is to get upset, frustrated, and angry with yourself for making a careless error with a birdie putt. Resist this feeling. Calm yourself. You still have a very realistic shot at par, and you’ve made plenty of 10 footers in your lifetime. Focus your mind to times when you’ve made similar putts, and let go of the feelings of the last putt you just hit. Don’t assume that you’re going to 3 putt because your first putt wasn’t a good one. Instead, focus on how the next putt is makeable.
Do you agree with our tips? What do you focus on to avoid 3 putting? Feel free to share your opinions or practice drills in the comments section below!