Avoiding 3-putts

The quickest and easiest way to kill a good score is to start three-putting. No matter what your skill level, it’s the one destructive fault we all suffer with. At the heart of this debilitating problem is a lack of control from long range. If you can get this right, the stress on the rest of your game will quickly fade. To help, follow my simple, three-step guide and you’ll soon become an expert in the underrated art of 
lag putting.

Key 1 
Judging distance

A great way of improving your distance control is to first of all take the line of the putt out of the equation. Do this by taking the hole out of play and putting to the fringe. Try and get the ball to stop right where the green ends and the fringe begins. You will be completely focused on the length of the putt so pay particular attention to how the length of your swing affects the distance the putt travels. This drill will also give you an opportunity to hit the longest possible putts on the practice green. As a result it should make long putts out on the golf course less intimidating and easier to cope with.

Key 2 
Solid stroke

When facing very long putts the tendency for many is to involve the wrists in the stroke and steer the ball towards the hole. This causes a scooping action, which will cause the ball to skid and produce inconsistent results that can be disastrous. By controlling the stroke with a rock of the shoulders you will find the middle of the putter and produce consistent results. A great way to improve this motion is by using a length of garden cane as a link between the putter head and your sternum. This will remove the tendency to break the wrists when faced with long putts.

Key 3 
Stay on line

While the judgement of distance is obviously the key to improving your long-range putting, it goes without saying that you will need to consider the line of the putt as well. A good drill to see how far off line you are is to build a series of gates towards the hole. Hit a few putts before you build the gates so that you are able to get a rough idea of the line required. By doing this putting drill it means that as well as perfecting your distance control this will also give you a good indication of how far a putt is off line immediately after hitting it. A useful tool to take out to the course.

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