How To Stop 3-Putting

1 What you do in your practice strokes is critical to long-range putting as it can improve your pace control and leave you facing fewer testing par saves. On long putts, I would recommend looking at the hole rather than the ground as you take your practice strokes beside your ball. With your target the focus of your attention it can really help you gauge how far back and through the putterhead has to go to get the ball close, or possibly even hole it!

2 Grip pressure is very important. When you’re feeling a bit anxious, it’s all too easy to grip too tightly, making it harder to get the putter moving the way you want it to through the stroke. To keep your rhythm and tempo, you must grip the putter lightly. Concentrate on lightness as you take your grip so that when you’re ready to go there’s no hint of tightness. 

3 People often talk about getting it within the dustbin lid from long range, but I don’t think that allows you to focus sufficiently small. I would much rather you keep your focus completely on the hole as you’re taking your practice swings because that is where you want the ball to go, after all. If you start to think too much outside of the hole, then I worry that it offers you too much tolerance and leeway. So keep your focus small.

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Purposeful practice

What you do before hitting a long putt has a huge bearing on success, so make sure your preparation and practice are focused and meaningful.

Moving on to holing out consistently from close range, a lot of golfers are guilty of indecision or uncertainty about where to aim and how the putt breaks, which leads to lack of commitment in the stroke and a greater likelihood of missing.

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If you’re looking at how to stop 3-putting a good drill in practice is to choose your line and then place a tee peg or other small object just behind the hole where you think you need to start your putt – in this instance, fractionally right of centre. As you walk into the putt and take your stance, keep your focus on that tee peg. Picking a really small target like this from short range can really help with your focus and engagement. The beauty is that you could miss your narrow target, yet still hole the putt because the hole is much bigger.

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You can do the same thing out on the golf course by really focusing on a particular blade of grass, a blemish at the back of the hole or, these days, even just the narrow flagstick if it’s a straight putt – anything to help you engage better with a precise target.