Being consistent inside of ten feet is the most important part of golf. It doesn’t matter if you are putting for birdie or trying to save double bogey, making the putt will save a shot from your final score. That’s why we like those gimmie putts so much!
While watching golf on TV, we see putt after putt being made, but only about 3% of putts over 45 feet on Tour are actually holed. Whereas, over 95%of putts inside of 3 feet are made. This means that Tour pros make almost everything inside of 3 feet, for birdie or for second putts after a good lagged first roll. Amateurs, competitive or not, can benefit from practicing short putts, so they can hole more opportunities or make their second putt because three putts are the worst way to add to your final score.
My favorite drill to practice short putts is the 3-6-9 drill. Grab three balls, three tees and go find a straight, flat putt on the practice green. Put a tee at 3 feet, 6 feet and 9 feet (about a putter length apart) and then try to make three in a row at each tee spot. You can then progress this drill, by making more in a row, currently my caddie has been making me hole 50 in a row from 3 feet, 25 from 6, and 10 from 9 feet. Another way to advance with this drill is to use a breaking putt, having to make three in a row from each tee breaking both left to right and right to left, both uphill and then downhill. Another progression is to make one in a row in order from each 3, 6 and 9 feet, and progress that to three in a row from each and if you miss you have to start back over at the 3 foot mark.
If you can’t make it to a practice green, just focusing to make 3 footers in your front room will help your make percentages go up. So the next time your playing partner is a little tight lipped on the 18th green, you can be confident in your flatstick.
Good luck in your practice, and let me know how it goes!