Make More Short Putts by Improving Your Speed


How many times do you have a 3 foot putt and pick it up or knock it away from the hole? Be honest, it’s probably often. Then when your buddies make you putt one because it’s worth a few bucks it probably doesn’t go so well.

The reality is that you’re not as good at 3 footers as you should. It seems so easy to make it from 3 feet, but it doesn’t work like that. However, there are ways to improve your putting from 3 feet. Speed is critical and here are a few ways to improve your short putting with better speed:


Focus On the Speed

Even with a 3 foot putt, speed is very important. A putt hit too firmly will not break as anticipated and is prone to lip outs (the dreaded horseshoe lip out). A putt hit too soft may break too much, come up short or wiggle off line due to imperfections in the green.

Optimal speed is needed, which on a 3 foot putt is 18 inches past the hole. If you miss a 3 foot putt it should stop 18 inches past the hole. This speed gives you the best chance for consistent makes. Here are a few tips to improve your speed on 3 foot putts:


Practice Missing

This sounds crazy but serves a great purpose. Put a tee in the ground 18 inches past the hole. Setup slightly left or right of the hole to miss on purpose. From here practice rolling putts to the tee behind the hole. Spend a few minutes getting the hang of rolling the ball the correct speed.

Next try making a few putts using this same speed. You will see a more consistent roll into the hole. The ball should not just fall over the edge of the hole and it should not hit the back of the hole and pop up. It should dive into the middle of the hole.


Close Your Eyes

This sounds crazy too but stick with me. Using the same concept of putting to a tee in ground 18 inches behind the hole and planning to miss, close your eyes and roll a few putts. The goal is to get ball to stop at the tee behind the hole just as before. Closing your eyes makes your subconscious take over.

After a few minutes of practice it will be easy to hit your mark without seeing it. Then practice rolling a few 3 foot putts into the hole with your eyes closed. This subconscious repetition will make it easier to produce consistent speed on the golf course.

These 3 speed control drills will help you learn how to putt and will have you making more 3 foot putts with great speed.

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Author: Clay Hood -


Is the Co-Founder of Perfect Pitch Golf and a PGA Professional

With a background in golf instruction he now helps golfers through the development of golf training aids and instruction content.

He can be reached at or on Twitter @Clay_Hood

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