Most three-putts occur not because you hit the ball so far off line, but because you either left the first putt too short, or left yourself a come-backer that was too long.
Part of having good distance control is learning how to hit the putter’s sweet spot. Many newer putter models include a line to indicate where the sweet spot is located, but if your putter doesn’t have a sweet spot line, you’ll have to find it yourself.
How? It’s easy. Take a quarter, or even a finger tip, and while holding the putter shaft with one hand, gently tap on the putter head to push it back slightly.
You’ll notice if you tap the putter on the outer edges, its path will be turned slightly. When the head swings straight back and straight through you’ll know you found the sweet spot. (Hint — it should generally be near the middle of the clubface!)
Once you’ve located the sweet spot, you can work on honing your stroke. Take two wooden matches and tape them about two inches apart on each side of the sweet spot.
Now, try hitting a few putts, without letting your ball make contact with the matches.
If you hit the matches and not the sweet spot, you’ll notice the ball will veer offline. Once you become proficient at hitting solid putts with the matches two inches apart, move them closer and closer together until you get to a point where you’re hitting the sweet spot consistently without using them as guides.
Work on this drill consistently, and your putting distance control will improve drastically, making three-putts a thing of the past.
Kelley Brooke is the a managing partner at Bethpage Golf Group in New York and the founder and CEO of BirdieSpot LLC.