It's Simple: 3 Putts Kill your Score. A Couple of 3 Putts and There goes Breaking 90!
Those looking to break a magic number need to focus on the easiest way to reduce "wastage." The 3 putt or even worse has to be the easiest way to reduce scores drastically.
Reducing 3-Putting is easier than it might seem. We actually need to decrease 3 putts by not aiming or focusing so much on putting. Yes, this sounds crazy but the below 5 points will help you easily implement the no 3 putt rule into your game.
I remember playing in a group event and one of the players was overly obsessive on the first 9 holes about lining up his putts. He actually didn't really make any of them and he always left himself in worse positions than he had started. It was clear the method wasn't working. Once he stopped caring, he started holing more putts. How strange it that right?
When I did my Capto Putting Technology Certification Courses (Level 1 and 2), I started to think a lot about the movement of the putter and less about the ball. Upon obtaining my certification, I started imparting these 5 tips to people when I play with them on the courses and it has made a big difference to their game and score.
We need to rethink what we are doing on the Green in a big way!
Tip #1 - Don't Line Up the First Putt
WHAT? Yes, the first putt is not to be made actually. The First putt is only to get you within a 3 foot radius. So, you only need to focus on the general direction as well as the speed to get it either 3 feet short or 3 feet past. (Preferably past the hole).
Don't even waste your time lining up the line on the putter as this allows too much focus on the line of the ball and changes the focus away from the pace of the putt. You only need to be within a 3 foot radius, so your attention to accuracy doesn't need to be the primary focus. Just try to get it close.
Check out these make percentages from the Tour on perfectly rolling greens
If you aren't hitting it closer than 4 feet every time, You've got a slim chance to make the putt. So stop stressing over it and just try to get it as close as you can the first putt.
Tip #2 - Pace Yourself!
Spend time practicing your pace putting. the 3 foot radius means you can miss the hole by alot. Have a few practice swings for pace and try to feel as though you need the same speed as you would if you were rolling a ball with you hand. We need here to intently focus on following through. The follow through on the putt is most important for roll. You'll do a big favour to yourself and your pace by ensuring a follow through is the sole focus during the putt.
"It is virtually impossible to make a confident stroke if you don't feel that you have control over your distance." Peter Kostis - Golf Analyst & Instructor
Tip #3 - Take a Few Breaths Before your Putt and Relax Your Hands
Tension in the wrists and hands kills a putting stroke. Muscles don't move freely when they are under tense conditions. Focusing on a relaxed and smooth tempo through the stroke is enough to become a proficient pace putter. Two Practice Swings will help this. The first for speed and the second to relax your hands. Then put the putter down and repeat. Simple.
Tip #4 - Finish Strong
As I mentioned above, the follow through is of utmost importance especially for beginners. The putter face must be within 1 degree either side of the target line at impact and any deceleration will naturally have an effect on the clubface. This deviation is speed caused by slowing down the putter will almost always close the clubface causing you to miss putts left (right handed golfers). You'll pull it almost all the time. Make sure you follow through on the putting arc. NO LIFTING the Putter!
Tip #5 - Be Natural
I know it sounds ridiculous but your body knows what pace to hit. As you approach the putt your body is taking in a lot of information. You don't realize it but you know and see the grain of the grass. Your body sees the length of the grass and makes an assessment as to the correct speed. You need to trust that. This is a "go to default" that should be determined on the putting green. We're really trying to match the feel and the sight of the ball rolling. Your body knows how to find the middle of the putter if you stop controlling it and feeling a good roll off the putter face can be as natural as you let it be.
Most 3 putts are caused by a poor first putt. According to the above stats chart, you've got a 94% chance of making a three footer. You've got a 77% of making a 5 footer, so even if you just get that much closer on the first putt you stand a much better chance of making the second putt and therefore reducing those nasty 3 footers.
Curious about your Aim Tendencies, come in an have a Capto Putting Aim Report done. Capto is the worlds premier and most accurate putting sensor. Performance Golf was the First Commercial Instruction Facility to bring this technology to the UAE. We can easily measure your putting stroke indoor and then adjust your set up to promote a proper stroke without you even needing to do any boring putting drills.