Golf’s Dreaded 3 Putt

I hate to 3 putt!

Golf is a funny game. To score well, it is important to have a well-rounded game that fires on all cylinders. I know this because over my experience has taught me that any weakness or flaw will be accentuated under pressure. Of course pressure is relative to every player and what bothers me may not bother you. Such is the nature of golf.

However, there is one part of our game that is essential to low scores. Being a consistent putter is more important than a strong short game, booming drives, or precision approach shots. If the flat stick is not working, the rest of your game does not matter. Let me explain.

Just to make something very clear, it is early in the season and definitely not time to panic. I was out for my first 18 holes, in shorts by the way, last Wednesday. The sun was shining, it was warm and there was very little wind. As I walked to the first tee, I was feeling very comfortable about my game and was excited to hit the links. Overall, I was mentally prepared for a fun round.

Early in the round, I realized that my ball striking was pretty good. I did make a few mistakes (as expected) however, my overall my game was solid. As the round progressed, I found that my play to the green was getting stronger and as a result, I was scoring fairly well. I hit 4 greens in regulation, had 15 putts, scored nothing higher than a bogey and finished with a 3 over 38 for the front nine. Of the 15 putts, 3 putts lipped out so my score could have been lower. Being so early in the season, I was very happy with the results. More importantly, I was rolling the ball very well with my putter and my confidence was growing.

The back nine is an entirely different story. My ball striking continued to improve. After a bogey, birdie start, I was still feeling pretty confident. Then something strange happened. I lost the feel for my putter. This may sound crazy, but on the 12 hole, my putter felt foreign in my hands and I could not judge the speed of the greens! As a result, my confidence quickly eroded and score started rise.

Of the last 7 holes, I 2-putted 4 times and 3-putted 3 times. Interestingly, I never scored a double bogey. Of the last 7 holes, I bogeyed 5 of them. My 3-putts all started out as birdie attempts! It was crazy, I was leaving my first putt at least 10 feet from the hole every time. And that my friends was the frustrating part. After putting so well on the front nine, my back nine was a complete mystery to me. Needless to say, I was disappointed because I shot a 42 with a GIR of 6 of 9!

I am sure you added my score and an 80 is not bad for my first 18 of 2017 and I look forward to improving that score very soon.

So you can see how I surmise that putting this the key factor to scoring well in golf. My view has not changed over the years and I will continue to work on my short game, especially my putter. Moving forward, I can assure you that I am not in any type of panic mode. It is far too early to make any changes or adjustments. I willingly accept my putting woes from the last round and know that things will get better. It is just a matter of practice.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


8 thoughts on “Golf’s Dreaded 3 Putt

  1. Jim, it’s a sick feeling when your judgement on the greens goes awry. It’s worse than not being able to control your driver. I wouldn’t change your routine until you’ve seen this happen for three straight rounds; then you know you have a problem. Right now, it’s probably just an anomaly. No worries and play well this weekend!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your pain. Though not with my putter lately. But something always seems to keep me from a great game. My first nine today was 2 over with just 13 putts. Which is nothing to complain about for sure, but I was 2 under after hole 6 with 7 putts. And I ended the day with an 80 with 28 putts. So I’m not exactly thrilled with my showing today. But I’m not complaining either. It’s golf. I take what it gives me and keep happily searching for those days when it all seems to come together.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think I have ever been 2 under after the 1st 6 holes before. Or even got 6 in a row without a bogie for that matter. It’s encouraging to me. And I prefer to look at that as a sign of things to come rather than looking at it as a failed day overall. Just because I couldn’t keep it up yet isn’t something I should let bother me. Not yet anyway.

        It also gave me another clue to help my game. My next golf purchase will be a book on sports psychology in golf. I lost my game when I caught up with the field and another single caught me. Both happened at the same hole. My last par on the front nine was that par three. Only 155 yards, yet I hit short into the bunker and had to scramble for my par. Making that sandy should have carried me through to the next hole, but it didn’t because I was already out of my game. I wasn’t alone anymore. I wasn’t playing the game in my head anymore. I was socializing. And I don’t mix the two as well as I would like.

        Besides, I’m not a pro, I don’t practice enough to expect more than I get. And I got in 32 holes for 23 bucks on a nice course. I’d be an ungrateful idiot to complain about my day. I mean when people ask how I’m doing when I’m on the golf course, I look at them funny and say “I’m golfing so I’m doing awesome of course”. There just isn’t any other acceptable answer when your out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin

        You are right about a positive attitude being very helpful for your game. I would also add that you have proven to yourself that you have the ability to score low. Now you have to believe it can happen all the time. Ask, Believe, Receive. It is only a matter of time before your lower scores become consistent. You can do it!



  3. So true that putting is key to a really good round. However, I have learned to live with the fact that some days they drop and some days they don’t and have never lost faith in my putter or my putting technique. The best putting lesson I ever had taught me to always use the simple thought process that for every putt just set up as normal and never think I must make it. That seems to work for me! Cheers, Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

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