Eliminate frustrating 3-putts with this nifty speed control drill
I’m not sure what the hell has been going on lately, but my putting stroke has been absolutely atrocious. Instead of giving myself a shot at birdies and pars, I’ve been doing the unthinkable, 3-putting, which has led to a few pars, bogeys and, yep, even double-bogeys.
Three-putting is a common problem for many amateurs, and it can be an issue that throws off an entire round. For me, it takes up free real estate in my head anytime I step onto the putting surface, with a feeling like a dark cloud that I just can’t escape from.
But instead of showing frustration, the only thing a player can do to stop 3-putting is practice.
Many times, 3-putts are caused by poor speed control, with players either leaving shots short or rolling shots past the hole.
To help get the feel of putting speed, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Tim Cooke has a nifty drill that can improve your stroke and lower your scores. All it takes is some aim rods, a few golf balls, and a practice green.
As the video above shows, Cooke starts his putting practice from a healthy distance from the hole; 20 feet. He drops three balls down, and aims toward the rods he placed on the putting surface — with the goal to avoid hitting either the short rod (1.5 feet from the hole) or the deep rod (2 feet from the hole).
Says Cooke, “The objective is to putt around the aim rods. [It’s a] penalty shot if you hit one of the rods.”
The focus of this speed control game is to start sinking putts in less than three shots. So instead of worrying about missing the putt from the initial starting point of 20 feet, begin to get a feel for the stroke, helping your ball travel to within a 2- to 3-foot radius of the cup.
“We need good speed control to get around the aim rod,” says Cooke. “Yet, on the back end of that putt, you have to bury a 3 to 5-footer.”
By perfecting this speed control drill, Cooke says you’ll begin to feel the proper distance on each shot, and add a little pressure on the shorter ones. So now you know how to stop 3-putting, which should decrease the strokes on your overall scorecard.
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