HOW DO I CUT DOWN ON THREE PUTTING?
There are two essential ingredients in good putting: direction and distance control. Poor distance control in long putts tend to be the biggest source of three putting.
The math is quite simple: cut just one putting stroke from each hole and you have the potential to lower your golf scores by a whopping 18 strokes. The key is learning to get your ball within three feet of the cup (the circle of love) at least one stroke faster. For most golfers, their putting accuracy from within three feet of the cup will soar to over 70%. Top golfers will exceed 95% accuracy when within three feet of the hole. Amateur or club golfers often struggle to place the golf ball inside of the circle of friendship because they simply don't adequately practice putting distance control.
Short game guru, Dave Pelz, helps you by providing a great lag putt drill for those challenging long putts. Dave explains that the purpose of this drill is to develop great distance control in your lag putting. The goal isn't to make these long putts, but to get them sufficiently close (3 feet and in) to the hole to massively cut down on three putting.
Are you spending 50% of your time practicing your putting? Are you spending 50% or more of that time working on your long-distance control? Why not?
The Lag Putt Drill
The key is taking the time to mark out the specific distances of 40, 50 and 60 feet. You can take 13 paces and then add 1 more foot and this will get you to 40 feet. Three more paces and one foot more for 50 feet and then finally 3 more paces and one foot to reach the 60 feet mark. Either place a tee in the ground or lay down an alignment stick training aids to these specific distances. The goal is to place 10 golf balls inside of the imaginary 3-foot circle (circle of love) around the cup from the three markers that you have placed. You will hit 3 shots from each of the three distances starting with the 50-foot marker. If you successfully place each of your three shots inside the 3-foot circle, you will move to the 60-foot marker. Once you successfully place 3 consecutive shots into the 3-foot circle you will move to the 40-foot marker. And when you have successfully placed those 3 balls into the 3-foot imaginary circle you will finish with one final ball from 50-feet.
Do not concern yourself with holing putts but put some pressure on yourself to stroke these putts to within a 3-foot circle of the hole (the circle of love).
Phil Mickelson endorses this drill for his lag putting and adds one additional nugget of wisdom. Focus on making sure that the final direction to the hole from within the 3-foot circle leaves you with an uphill putt. He shares that 80% of missed putts from within this 3-foot range occur on downhill putts.
And if you are looking for some variation to this lag putting drill, you can also use the ladder drill. This is another highly effective drill which focuses on developing great putting distance control.
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