Conquering the Dreaded 3-Footer
Have you ever walked up to a short, 3-foot putt thinking to yourself, "This is a piece of cake" only to miss
If you have been playing for any length of time at all and if you are honest, your answer would have to be
A lot of instructional material has been written about sinking the monstrous long putt, reading the break, and which putter is in vogue this
year, but not much has been written about the short, easy putt. Why is that?
It is just my opinion but I believe it is because we are embarrassed to admit we miss those short, easy putts.
And yet time after time after time, those little 3-footers elude us, causing us to two-putt when we should be
holing out every time.
Here are some tips to help you conquer those dreaded 3-foot putts.
1. Never Assume: One of the worst habits I developed as a young player was walking up to short putts and hitting
them without first doing my homework. I mean, c'mon, it's a three foot putt, who needs to look at that thing?
Well, after missing more than I should have, I stopped that nonsense. Unless I am sitting on the rim of the cup,
I always take at least a few seconds to size up the putt. Now, I don't miss nearly as many as I did before.
2. Ignore Peer Pressure: Another obstacle I ran into in my early days of playing were my golfing buddies jeering
and trying to rush me to putt before I was ready to. I do not recommend that you slow down play too much, but do
take your time, even with short golf putts. Once you start making them
consistently, and your buddies continue to miss them, they will shut up.
3. Check for Breaks: Even though you are close to the hole you should check for any breaks that may be in line
with your putt. Because you are so close to the hole, you will have to putt softer than you would if you were
farther away. This usually results in a slower ball.
Remember, the slower a ball travels on the green, the more it will break. Even a slight break can ruin your putt
if you are not aware of it and adjust your target line.
4. Ball Basics: Before you putt, pick up your ball, mark it, and clean it. As you clean it take a look at the
target line and make sure there is no debris on your ball path. When you replace your ball, take a second to line
up the brand name with the target line. This will help you to keep the putter face on the right path.
5. Aim the Putter Face: This is one of the best tips you will ever get on putting short putts. Before you do
anything else, make sure the putter face is aimed on the target line or at the hole.
After the face of the putter is aimed properly, you can establish your stance. But your first task when you are
ready to putt should be to get the correct aim on the hole.
6. Smooth Swing: When you are ready to swing the putter remember to swing smoothly. Do no jerk the putter or put
any action at all into the hands. Use your upper body as a pendulum, and always keep your head down until well past
Try adding these tips the next time you have a dreaded 3-footer and see if they don't work.
Additionally, you may find Jack Williams' "Superior Golfing" program that covers the long game, short game, and
putting game, very handy: