Reduce Three Putts With The Right Focus

Reduce Three Putts With The Right Focus

G’day, I was just talking to my best mate before about his round of golf yesterday and he said it was the best he has ever hit it. So my immediate reaction was to ask if it was his best score that he ever shot. No, I scored terrible was his reply.With a round of 38 putts, it is very difficult to shoot your best score. He had too many three putts. When you have a round like this, it is usually that your focus is not enough on feel for the distance. Let me explain.If we break putts down into 3 categories, short (inside 10ft), Medium (10-20ft) and long putts (greater than 20ft), we then need to have a different focus on each category. If you look at the percentages of putts made by pros inside 10ft, it’s about 70-80%. But if we then compare that to the percentage hat pros make on long putts, it drops down to about 5%.

Well you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that on a long putt, you just want to get it close, if you make it, it’s a bonus. So therefore if we put our focus on distance rather than direction, we’ll have a better chance of getting it close so we can make the next putt.

We should have about 95% focus on distance and only 5% on direction for these long putts if that’s what our stats are telling us that we make. Then it’s almost a reverse effect on short putts, 80% of our focus should be on direction and only 20% on distance.

So let’s just look at the category 3 putts. How our routine would look here is that when we are reading the putt, walking around the ball and looking at the line, we should be more concerned about the things effecting more so the speed rather than line. This would include looking at the effects that the grain may play on the putt, also the slope, whether it is uphill or downhill and only 5% of your read focus on the direction.

Then have a quick look from behind the ball to get a rough idea of your line and this is where I pick a spot about a foot in front of the ball on the intended starting line. The most important thing then is to have a practice swing (I prefer to look at the hole whilst doing this) with your focus on getting the feel for the speed.

Once you move into your address position, line up the clubface to the preliminary target spot, once that is done, forget about direction and focus back on distance. I like to get a strong image in my mind’s eye of where the hole is and then putt to that image I have in my mind.

To understand how your imagery works, try this exercise. Get some golf balls and a bucket or basket or something where you can try to lob the balls into.  Stand about 10-15 feet away from the basket and with your eyes closed, try throwing the golf balls and landing them in the basket. As you practice this exercise more, which is Childs play, your image of the hole whilst standing over the ball will also get better.

Have fun with this and you will see the benefits of it very quickly and so too will your scores on the course improve.

For more information on Putting go to

Until next time;

Enjoy your game. Cheers. Jim Kennedy

P.S. Just received a call from my best mate about his round of golf today after putting these tips into action and came home to win in front of a field of 220 competitors with 43 points and only 27 putts. He said his renewed confidence on the green gave him more confidence with his long game coming home on the tough back nine with 23 points. Well done Macka.

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