Are you the kind of person who, when going out to practice, only goes to the tee to work on the full swing? Or maybe you do spend a couple minutes on the putting green but only just before going out to play. If 60% to 70% of the game is played within 100 yards of the green, shouldn’t you spend 60% to 70% of your practice time on the short game? Let’s try something new. Practice your putting and with a purpose. Come on, you can do it!
Even if you have to pretend for a while you are the world’s greatest putter, do it! Pretty soon, after working on these drills, you will be.
A good putter only makes a 10 foot putt around 20% of the time, a 6 foot putt about 50% of the time but a 3 foot putt goes in the hole nearly 90% of the time. And that’s a good putter! Chances are when you 3 putt, you are not getting that first putt close enough to have a good chance at making that second putt.
First find a comfortable putting style that will allow your stroke to return the clubface to a square position from the proper path and at the proper angle, and be consistent. If you want to get to that 90% on 3 foot putts you need to practice them. So no more gimmies! Putt everything out!
Place several balls in a circle 3 feet from the hole. Select a hole that has a little slope so you practice uphill, downhill, left to right and right to left breaking putts. See if you can make it all the way around without a miss. Then make your goal harder, two times around, three times around and so on. You need to get better at this range first. This will give you more confidence and help you take pressure off the longer putts. To make sure you are aggressive in 3 foot putts find a flat straight putt and place a club shaft 2 inches from the hole. Select a club like a 4-iron so it will lay flat on the ground and there is no gap. Now putt the ball firm enough to have the ball jump over the shaft into the hole.
Now that you can make a 3 footer, let’s work on getting into that range. Make that 3 foot circle around the hole using something like string. Now put 5 to 10 balls at 20, 30 and 40 feet away. Your goal is to get all those balls inside the circle.
The last thing you need is to have confidence. When you get better at the 3 foot putt you will gain confidence. Even if you have to pretend for a while you are the world’s greatest putter, do it! Pretty soon, after working on these drills, you will be.