Eliminate those dreaded 3-putts from your game
- By Ed Oldham, SwingFix Instructor
- Dec 18, 2012 12:00 PM ET
One of the easiest ways to lower your scores is to eliminate 3-putts from your game.
In 2012, on the PGA Tour, Jim Furyk played 1,512 holes and only had 26 3-putts. This is less than two percent of the time or one 3-putt every 58 holes. Meanwhile, many average golfers average three, four or even more 3-putts per round.
There are two parts to every putt, distance and direction, and of those two distance is much more important. But golfers often get too focused on the line and forget about the speed.
The 50-50 distance for tour players is somewhere around 8 feet. Unless you are 8 feet or closer to the hole, your focus should be on hitting the ball the right distance.
Every time that you go to the course, spend at least five minutes on the putting greens hitting distance putts.• Ed Oldham
Another reason that distance is important is that the speed that your ball is traveling will have an affect on the line. The faster the ball is traveling, the less it will break. If you read a putt correctly but hit it too hard, it won't break as much and you may put yourself in danger of 3-putting.
Every time that you go to the course, spend at least five minutes on the putting greens hitting distance putts. Hit putts from 20, 30, 40 and 50 feet. Hit uphill, downhill and sidehill putts.
Additionally, use two golf balls. Hit the first putt and watch the ball until it stops, then hit the second putt and again watch until it stops. Watching the ball provides you with valuable feedback.
If you leave the first one short, don't think about hitting the next putt harder. Simply focus on the target and hit the putt again. Thinking about how hard to hit a putt is a recipe for 3-putting.
Let it become instinctual, just as if you were playing catch with a baseball. Use your eyes to judge the distance, then hit the putt and trust yourself.
If you can eliminate 3-putts from your game, you’ll watch your scores go down.
SwingFix instructor Ed Oldham is a PGA certified Master Professional in Instruction and was selected by Golf Digest as one of Colorado's top teaching professionals.
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