Three putts really increase your golf score. If you are working on getting your scores as low as possible, the first target that you should set yourself to achieve is to eliminate any three putts from your round.
Your goal should be to take two putts as a maximum on every green, if not one putt. Reducing the numbers of putts that you take when you are out playing on the golf course, will instantly reduce your score, so this is an important area of your game to work on to improve your golf.
Three putting is a result of poor distance control. No matter what the distance of the first putt that you face, if your distance control is excellent you will leave yourself a very makeable second putt, if you do not hole your initial attempt that is!
When it comes to playing longer putts, distance control is the key and much more important than accuracy. If you are facing a putt of say 30 feet or more, even if you do not deliberately read the green or line up, you will not miss the putt as far to the left or the right as you would miss short or beyond the hole from poor distance control. If you only get the ball half the distance to the hole, you are left facing a 15 foot second putt. Even without being deliberately accurate with your aim, you will not be 15 foot left or right! So the key to reducing three putts, is to ensure that your distance control improves and that you are able to get the ball to within three feet of the hole from whatever distance you face, to leave yourself a tap in for your second putt.
Here is a great distance control drill to work on to help you reduce and then eliminate any three putts from your game. Go to the practice putting green and select a hole to play to. Take eight tee pegs and place the first four of these in a north, south, east and west position around the hole, three feet away from the hole. The other four tee pegs need to be placed three feet away from the hole and in the middle of the gaps created by the north, south, east and west positions. By doing this you have created a bullseye which is three feet around the hole that you can now play towards.
Initially, you want to position yourself a distance away from this bullseye that you would find yourself in most often when out on the golf course. Simply work on hitting the ball into the bullseye from this distance that is appropriate for you as a first putt distance. Hit five balls from this distance away and then score how many of these finished in the bullseye. Don’t worry if you do not score any in the bullseye initially – if you got them all in you wouldn’t be three putting! This is something to work on improving. Now move to a different position on the green and a slightly different distance away and play the five balls again. Once again score. Keep doing this from different positions and distance away and you will begin to score. Every time you subsequently work on this drill, try to beat your best score.
Once you are achieving three or four out of the five into the bullseye, advance the game on further to help your progress with your distance control improve more. Still play the five balls, but now play them from five different positions around the bullseye and five different distances away. Keep the distance appropriate to you as an individual and your first putt distances that you face and now score with this more advanced version of the game.
Working on these training games will really improve your distance control as you learn how to swing the putter to achieve the distance that you face and once you are scoring well on these games, especially the more advance version, you will notice that you massively reduced the number of putts that you are taking when playing, reduced the number of three putts that you have during a round and consequently reduce your score.