Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new GOLF.com series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.
When it comes to putting, many mid- to high-handicappers just can’t get out of their own way.
If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself too far from the hole on your first putt, just miss your second putt and then need to tap in from within a foot or so to finish off the hole.
As a chronic 3-putter, I’m losing way too many strokes on the greens — which is holding me back from breaking 80 for the first time ever.
While I’ve made huge strides when it comes to my ball-striking over the past few months, I needed help with the flatstick in a big way.
Lucky for me, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Trillium Rose came to rescue me, not only giving me an entire three-hole lesson but also specifically focusing on curing my 3-putting blues. Check out this video to see what tips she has to offer to help boost your confidence on the greens, or read her advice below.
How to eliminate frustrating 3-putts
Since I know there are fellow 3-putters out there looking for expert help, Rose had me knock some putts from a severe slope, forcing me to test my green-reading ability while also practicing my distance control.
“I do that so often,” I begrudgingly said as I missed a short (but tricky) left-to-right downhill putt.
To help restore belief in yourself with the flatstick, try using Rose’s tips below.
1. Imagine a full line from beginning to end
“I like the idea of imagining the line it’s going to take from beginning to end,” Rose says. “So as you draw your line back, then you get your start line set.”
With so many golfers being visual learners, this is a great way to help eliminate 3-putts. So long as you can read the break of the slope — which, in this case, is a drastic one for such a close putt — by drawing the line backwards from the hole to the ball, you can commit to your shot as you address the ball.
2. Focus on tempo
“The best putters have really consistent speed [or tempo] no matter what the distance is,” Rose says. “Whether it’s 3 feet, 10 feet, 20 feet, the tempo of their putt is the same.”
This is a big one for 3-putters to understand.
Speed control is important regardless of how short or long your putt is, but your tempo should be close to the same regardless. This means that the speed with which you swing the putter is consistent each time.
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