The Three Foot Putt

Dear Frank,
I look forward to your weekly tips and video with Valerie. Thanks for what you do for the game of golf.

I have a problem with my short putts. I started experimenting with a long putter but find that I lose feel on the long putts using a long putter. I have considered using a long putter for short putts and a short putter for long putts.
Is this allowed under the rules and is permissible to carry two putters in your bag?
San Diego

Thank you for your kind comments and I am pleased we have been able to help.

You can carry 14 putters (clubs) in your bag and not violate the Rules of Golf but this is not the solution.

You are certainly not the first golfer to have a problem with short putts. Of the many golfers who visit our Putting PAD at Reunion Resort in Orlando Florida, we find that quite a few have the same “short-putt-shakes” problem.

We find that the best solution to this malady is very rarely moving to a long putter. We try to look for the cause of the problem and resolve this rather than the easy band-aid approach which often leads to other problems. 

In most cases we find that the voices in our head that talk to us over putts gets louder and louder the closer you get to the hole. The solution to the problem is not to listen to these little voices – warning about the embarrassment we will suffer or bet we will lose etc. …  etc….  etc. if we miss the putt.

To mute these voices make sure you practice short putts and go through the same routine you would for a long putt.

One  wish not often granted is the one you make during the back swing and forward stroke on the short putt, while you are lifting your head to watch what happens to the ball while wishing it into the hole.

Be confident on short putts and remember that the effective hole size on a three foot putt is about 3 1/3 times bigger than it is on a ten foot putt. So putt your short putts with the same confidence you would when making a ten foot putt at a hole 14 inches wide.

Matt, I hope this helps.


3 thoughts on “The Three Foot Putt

  1. An old pro I played with once gave me a great piece of advice when he saw me missing short putt after short putt. What he told me was “Pick them up! You are digging yourself in deeper and deeper!” For the rest of that round and any “practice” round thereafter for a month or two I took more “gimmees” than I could count. I quit thinking about the “yips” and they went away.

    I believe that once I stopped worrying about missing I stopped “wishing” as Frank says and trusing my stroke instead. That kept my head down and these days I am more suprised when I miss than surprised I make a putt. That makes all the difference.

  2. Yes, adhering to your putt routine makes a difference. It also helps to widen the stance a bit and use a short backswing with a longer follow through swing toward the hole.

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