How to Never 3 Putt Again
What is 3 Putting?
A three putt is when you take 3 total putts to get the golf ball into the hole once you’re on the green using the putter. Hitting putts from the fringe doesn’t officially count as a putt on the scorecard.
Let’s say for example, you’ve just hit your second shot from the fairway from 130 yards away from the green and that shot ended up landing on the front of the green.
Next, you drive up to the green, grab your putter and walkover to your ball on the green.
When it’s your turn to putt you stroke a putt that ends up 10 feet short of the hole. On your second putt you miss the cup and leave yourself 2 feet away from the hole. Now on your third putt, you finally make the putt.
You walk off the green disappointed that you made a bogey due to the three putts. Had you been able to two putt, you would have had a par.
How to Never 3 Putt Again?
The odds of never 3 putting again are low, but if you put lots of practice into putting from different distances (long, short, and medium) you will develop feel with your putter and learn distance control from these various distances.
Distance control simply means you can hit putts the correct distance so they end up within a few inches of the cup, regardless of how far away from the hole you started.
Golfers who lack distance control with their putter will send putts flying past the hole several feet and sometimes even off the green into the rough on the other side of the green.
Other times golfers will leave putts way too short, making it almost low odds of sinking the next putt into the hole.
Focusing on distance control is the first step to avoiding 3 putts and getting really consistent at two putting.
As you build distance control skills, you’ll notice you begin making more putts from longer distances that you weren’t even trying to make.
On long distance putts, the goal is usually to just get the golf ball as close as possible on the first putt, to make it easy on yourself for the second putt which is the one that will get the ball the rest of the way in the hole.
3 putting from short putts is also very frustrating. When you walk onto the green ready to hit your first putt, you’re probably expecting a chance at making that first putt from close range and getting a birdie or par save.
As you exit the green with a 3 putt on the scorecard, your frustrations are likely really high knowing it shouldn’t have taken more than 1, maybe 2 putts at most from such a close distance to the hole.
Golf Drills to Help You Stop 3 Putting?
50 Lag Putts Per Day
At a minimum, I want you to make it a priority to get to the golf course at least 4 times per week for the first month of golf season to get your game dialed in quickly.
Each practice session, spend some time hitting at least 50 putts from long distances (45 feet – 80 feet) away from the hole.
The goal of these long putts (also known as lag putts) is to get the golf ball within 1-2 feet of the cup on the first putt, then make the second putt from 1-2 feet away. This simulates hitting a green in regulation and then completing your two putt par.
50 putts from long distance per day won’t take very long and when you do it 4x a week that ends up being a total of 200 putts per week which will help you start to build feel in your hands and putter and start to control putts from long distances on the green.
Set up a radius around the hole from a few feet to create a target zone to roll the golf balls inside of. You can use ball markers for example to make this “box” or “circle” around the hole. The goal is to stop the ball inside this self created zone on the green to signify control over the putts distance.
Hit the putt too hard and it will pass right through the zone and end up outside of the border of the zone.
Hit the putt too short and it will never have a chance to make it within the boundary zone you created with your ball markers.
There are also circle rings you can buy with really thin wire that get set on the ground around the hole to create this boundary zone to putt golf balls inside of from different distances.
It gives you feedback what putts made it within a few feet of the hole and which putts ended up farther away than the ideal distance for a lag putt.
Short Range Putts Inside of 7 Feet
The only other putting drill I want you doing for several weeks in combination with the lag putting drill above is a short range ladder drill.
It gets the name “ladder” because you are sinking putts from different distances. Each distance is a rung on the ladder and you’ll work your way up the ladder (moving back in one foot increments).
Start on “ladder rung #1” by setting a tee in the ground 1 foot from the hole on a practice green.
Mark tees in the ground at 2 feet, 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet, 6 feet, and 7 feet.
Now repeat this on the opposite side of the hole from 1 to 7 feet.
Now you have two ladders created, one on each side of the practice hole, which will help you learn how to make putts for both types of break. One side of the hole putts may break left to right and on the opposite side of the hole, those putts will break right to left.
Next set a golf ball at each tee so you have 7 golf balls at 7 different distance tees in the ground.
Starting at 1 foot, make the putt. If successful move back to two feet and make that putt. If successful move back to three foot and make that putt. Continue this at all 7 spots on the ladder trying to make all 7 putts in a row.
At any point, if you miss the putt, start the drill back over and go back to the 1 foot ladder rung. Work your way up the ladder only when you make the putts in a row.
After you can successfully complete the drill, make it challenging by coming back down the ladder. So once you sink the putt at 7 feet, now move back down to 6 feet and make that putt, then move down to 5 feet and make that putt.
Start over when you miss at 1 foot, then 2 foot, etc. This means you’ll have to make 13 putts in a row now going from 1 foot to 7 feet and then back down from 7 feet to 1 foot for 13 putts total to complete version two of this putting drill.
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