3 & 4 footers have become a nightmare!

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By Diego D

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  • 28 Replies
  1. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    I have recently been struggling with 3 & 4 putts. I feel more comfortable putting from 6 & 7 feet.

    In today's PGA second round I saw Rory, Tony and even Tiger finding it hard to get the ball in the hole.

    This makes me feel better, however, I would like to know what has worked for other TT members.

  2. Keith M

    Keith M
    Acworth, GA

    Anything in that 6 foot or less range scares the heck out of me. Almost everyone of them is burned by the left or right edge. It's in my head, has been for a while. I probably leave at least 3-4 putts out there each round.

    I just keep trying.
  3. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    Keith M said:

    Anything in that 6 foot or less range scares the heck out of me. Almost everyone of them is burned by the left or right edge. It's in my head, has been for a while. I probably leave at least 3-4 putts out there each round.

    I just keep trying.

    Are we overthinking? I feel that if I rush in and put, I even increase the chances of missing. I don't want to misread a 3 or 4 footer.
  4. Jim C

    Jim C
    Braintree, MA

    Just lost in the quaterfinals of my club championship on Saturday 1 up to a birdie on 18 - great second shot (through trees) and a 15' downhill slider that my opponent (18 year old) made center cut.

    However, I missed 5 putts (from 5'-7') that either would have halved or won the hole for me - and I missed all of them to the right. I think it was a combination of not keeping my head still and not releasing the putter, frustrating as hell.
  5. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    Jim C said:

    Just lost in the quaterfinals of my club championship on Saturday 1 up to a birdie on 18 - great second shot (through trees) and a 15' downhill slider that my opponent (18 year old) made center cut.

    However, I missed 5 putts (from 5'-7') that either would have halved or won the hole for me - and I missed all of them to the right. I think it was a combination of not keeping my head still and not releasing the putter, frustrating as hell.

    That's a very sad story, but I am sure you'll have another chance to win a medal. I hate to think about numbers, but every time I am on the green my brain starts thinking about statistics. I know it's silly but I compare myself to tour pros and these are my expectations:

    99% of putts from 3 feet
    69% of 6-foot putts
    54% of 8-foot putts
    31% of putts between 10 and 15 feet

    I know that from 6-8 feet, it is like tossing a coin so I just go for it. When I have a 3-4 footer, I think to myself: you have to make this!

    This is the weakest part of my game and I would like to know what else TT members do when they are putting from 3-4 feet.
  6. I feel your pain. For me it helps to see the line before setting up, pick a small target, blade of grass etc. and not to over think it. set up and hit it. Best of luck!
  7. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    Thank you for your advice. I had never thought about it that way. I guess I have been overthinking.
  8. Paul T

    Paul T
    alpharetta, GA

    Is your putter fit well for you? Little blips could be the result of an improper fit. But I'd say the likely candidate is mental. Maybe engrain a better preshot routine.
  9. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    Thank you for your advice, Paul. I have been thinking about a better pre-shot routine. My driver used to be my nightmare; I was obsessed with distance, but now it is my favorite club in the bag and that is due to my pre-shot routine.

    I was actually fitted for my putter in 2018, but I guess my stroke might have changed as most of us tend to do so.
  10. Dr. Kovatchian

    Dr. Kovatchian
    Carlsbad

    I miss seeing the whole cup on my 5-10 foot putts....seeing the whole cup is key for me on shorter putts!!!

    Really wish Dr. Faucci would give us the OK to play golf without pool noodles.
    If we are allowed to push a shopping cart around Costco we should be allowed to see a ball fall into a golf hole and hear it drop to the bottom of the cup....strange times!!!!!

    Cheers,
    Dr. K
  11. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    I also prefer the flagstick out. Perhaps that is what has been affecting my putting from a close range (3-4 feet).

    How many pros are still leaving it in for 3-4 footers?

    How much did the flagstick in affect the pros accuracy from 3-4 feet?

    At least I have found one source of the problem, however, I know I have to improve my putting stroke.
  12. Mike M

    Mike M
    Salem MA

    I'm with Dr. K! I really don't like putting with the flagstick in.I want to see the whole cup. Besides , I'm a die putter.I don't use the flagstick at all.In fact I used to take it out when chipping or pitching from certain lies.
  13. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    Flagsticks (can't touch this!) have been in all year and I like that...speeds up play a little and it's become so normal I don't even mind it.
  14. I have actually started putting quite well from short range of late. One thing I have focused on is, as someone already mentioned, is getting the ball rolling on the correct line. I pick and trust my line. I choose a spot just in front of the ball, and I make certain I roll the ball over that spot. I have a very short backswing with my putter, but I typically make my putter head go toward the spot I pick and zero head rotation. I have rarely watched them go in of late. I just go get it out of the cup.
  15. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Might be over griping the the putter. So much can go wrong, but agree with overthinking. 90% mental and the other 10% in all in your head....... I like to feel that I have a soft grip and follow thru with every putt regardless of the distance....same routine same grip......practice, practice, practice until you get that FEEL of confidence.....with respect......
  16. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    A couple of months ago I played a round with our perennial club champion, a real gentleman. We got around to talking about putting and his take on it is you're either a good putter under pressure or your not.
  17. Todd T

    Todd T
    San Diego, CA

    Sounds like a mental block- you're supposed to make the shorties, so you put more pressure on yourself and the longer ones aren't supposed to be made as frequently. Try the Phil drill of putting a circle of balls around the hole (3/4 feet) and knock em all down. Even better with metronome to develop tempo.
  18. Diego D

    Diego D
    Miami, FL

    Todd T said:

    Sounds like a mental block- you're supposed to make the shorties, so you put more pressure on yourself and the longer ones aren't supposed to be made as frequently. Try the Phil drill of putting a circle of balls around the hole (3/4 feet) and knock em all down. Even better with metronome to develop tempo.

    Thank you for your advice, Todd. I had used Phil's circle drill a few years ago and it helped last time; therefore I went for it again. Additionally, for the first time, I looked into a metronome app to check mu putting tempo and it helped me focus on my putting stroke and forget about what could go wrong.
  19. Hunter E

    Hunter E
    Ohio

    The 3-4 footer always scares me. Even after hours of practice, that 5% of misses always comes into my head. I would say keep practicing and think about the basic parts of the stroke. Transfer that thinking then from the putting green to the course!
  20. Andrew A

    Andrew A
    Charlotte, NC

    I find that practicing short putts (3-5 feet) wjile looking at the hole frees up the tension and relaxes my stroke. I can then take that feeling out to the course. More times than not, the miss is cause by a poor stroke that resulted from too much hand pressue and ar tension.
    Give it a try and see if this loosens you and relaxes your arms/hands.
  21. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    I found if I spot putt I miss more shorter putts of 6' or less because I miss one side or the other of the mark and speed sometimes was off because I was trying hit a mark that wasn't the distance to the cup..

    So I line putt. I see the line walk it back visually from the cup to my ball & putt when I get back to the ball. No practice swings. It has made my ball rolling 100% better on all distances. I make more putts than before (started this about 8 years ago) This method keeps my hands & forearms from getting tight before I putt as I'm not staring at one spot waiting to putt.

    I average 90% from inside 4ft. I average 31 putts a round because I don't always get it close.

    Good Luck and update on your progress

    DM
  22. Diego, I have felt your pain, but this year I have had a lot of success. I really started to concentrate more on set up and follow through. I try to make sure I am square to my intended line which makes it much easier to keep the putter head on the intended line. I also concentrated on a complete follow through. My tendency was to abbreviate the follow through because they are short putts, but making sure I complete the stroke has made a world of difference. Hope it helps.
  23. Doug E

    Doug E
    Urbana, MD

    Stop peeking.

    Keep your eyes over the ball and trust your line. If you miss, you miss. But peeking at the ball is the kiss of death on short putts and contributes greatly to pulls and pushes. Find your line. Commit to it. Then putt. Do not look to see where the ball is going until AFTER it is on its way into the hole.

    Force yourself not to look at the ball until after it leaves the face and you will make more short ones. When I start missing shorter putts, this is usually why. It's easily fixable. Watching the ball come off the clubface and trying to follow it with your eyes, particularly if you are right eye dominant (and putt right-handed), can greatly affect where the ball goes. My advice is to make sure you see the ground underneath where the ball was lying prior to the strike, before looking up to see the ball go in the hole. Watching it isn't going to help it go into the hole. Listening to it go in the hole won't either, but it will prevent you from sub-conscientiously trying to steer it in.
  24. Keith M

    Keith M
    Acworth, GA

    As a follow up to this discussion, I've been going back for lessons to our club pro. I mentioned that I was struggling with the short putts lately and he took me over to the practice green. Ironically, I was making everything.

    But after looking for a bit, he said my stroke was pretty good, but it was my grip. He had me get the putter more in my hands and less in my fingers, resulting in a more upright position for the putter and leading to more center of the face hits.

    While I've been struggling with some of the swing changes, the putting change has worked wonders. I'm making just about everything inside 6 feet. Still working out speed control and feel on longer putts since it's such a different feeling in my hands.
  25. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Well, I like big putts, I cannot lie...
  26. Mike M

    Mike M
    Salem MA

    Doug made some good points, but I'll add one more important item; take LESS time on those putts. The longer you stand "frozen" over the ball at dress, the more doubt can creep in. Pick a line and commit to it,take one or two practice strokes and go!
  27. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    Glad a pro had the right answer.

    I've struggled this year as I've been getting close to the hole from 20 feet than from 5 feet. I'm getting back with my coach after Labor Day, but memories from previous sessions include the amount of backswing. Too much on short putts will tend to deaccelerate the stroke. All bets off on the face getting square to the line in time with the swing. For now, I'm using Brad Snedeker's "tap" for short putts. With a short rap, no deacceleration and it is easier to keep the face square to the line.
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