Time To Stop The 3-PuttingThe aim of every golfer should be to come off the green having taken either one putt or at the most two putts. That is not always an easy thing to do, especially if you are a long distance from the hole, but it should still be your main objective.
So many people new to golf make the huge mistake of taking three and four putts on the green and that will mean that you can never get to lower your handicap. The secret to saving strokes and reducing your handicap is to reduce the number of putts that you have to make on the green.
I spoke with my own club professional before writing this article and I asked him what was the single biggest mistake made by beginners when it came to putting the ball. Almost instantly he told me that it was "racing the ball at the hole." Another way of saying that is hitting the putt too hard and running it well past the hole.
I thought about that, and then thought of when I began and others that I have observed. It is a natural mistake for a whole lot of reasons, but he is 100% right in his observations. Rather than miss the opportunity of watching the ball drop, beginners have this natural tendency to over strike the ball.
What Is A Good Safe Putting Distance?
If your shot into the green takes you to within three feet of the hole, then you have a good chance of making the putt. Sadly, there are not many beginner golfers who can achieve that on a regular basis. In most cases we will end up quite a few feet away from the hole and with a longer putt than we would like to have. The objective then with your first putt should be to get it within 2-3 feet of the hole.
An old golfer's trick is to picture a car tyre around the hole and aim to get inside the imaginary tyre. If the putt happens to drop that is a bonus, but you want to leave it within 3 feet for your second putt. That is the best tip that I can offer to help stop 3 and 4 putting on a green.
Putting Drills For BeginnersThis is not just for beginners but I would highly recommend doing these drills for any golfer. Before playing any round of golf you do need to try and gauge the speed of the greens that you will be playing on when out on the course.
Most courses will have a practice putting green and if you have watched the Pros on TV, you will see that they always use this before they go out.
Don't worry about putting the ball into the cup. Instead of that, simply take you putter back one inch and then follow through one inch. Now simply measure in steps how far the ball actually rolled. I think you will be surprised at the distance it will roll and by using steps to measure this, you can then use this knowledge when out on the course.
After that try doing this drill using a 2" stroke and then a 3" stroke and measure the distance each time. That will be really valuable information when you go out to play your actual round of golf.
The Putting Pendulum
- Consistent and accurate comes with using your arms like a pendulum. Never ever break your wrists when putting as the backward and forward movement needs to be consistent. Keep in mind the steady smooth swing of a clock pendulum and you will not go too far wrong.
- Don't wear a glove when putting as you want to get a good feel of the putter.
So if you follow the tips above and practise the drills then your putting as a beginner will improve a lot.