Dropping Putts From 4 to 6 Feet

I realize that I have been harping about putting from 4 to 6 feet lately, but it such an important distance to master that I cannot say it enough. In the beginning of my career, I thought that 3 foot putts were the most important putts to lower my golf score. As the years past, I found that 3 feet was not the distance I worried about, it was the knee knockers I had to make between 4 and 6 feet. I looked at a plethora of videos and none really hit the mark about what I think is important to sink more putts from the crucial distance.

As I changed my mental expectations of sinking slightly longer must make putts, I found that I had to change my approach. It was nothing earth shattering, but they do make the difference between pars and bogeys. I have found if I make more putts from this distance, I shoot my lowest scores. To make these putts, here are the two things I must consistently achieve to drop more putts than not.

The first is to hit the ball past the hole by 4 inches. I found that if I by trying to drop the ball at the hole it would fall off left or right. I missed more putts right at the hole than I could handle. The holes that had more than normal break were the worst for just trying to drop the ball in the hole. By putting my ball 4 inches past the hole I take that opportunity for my ball to fall away from dropping. It seems like a a simple think, but I mentally have to stay focused on what works and keep positive.

The second technique I mastered was to aim very small. Sometimes my target is a blade of grass. In the past, I just looked at the hole thinking that I was so close it did not matter. Actually, my aim point makes a tremendous difference and the smaller the target the more refined my focus and concentration is during the putt. I understand that a small aim point tip seems like a no brainer, however it is very important to pick the smallest target possible. Missing my mark slightly does not cause me any grief because there is generally a margin of error due to the narrow target.

Of course I need to do the other aspects of my putting technique well to be successful, but the above to points are critical. If you are wondering, my star drill is still the best drill going for improving your putting from the 4 to 6 foot distance.

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


2 thoughts on “Dropping Putts From 4 to 6 Feet

  1. To make 6 footers look easy, I practice 9 footers. To make 4 footers look easy I practice 6 footers. And I’ll happily hit one by 2 feet. Not just 4 inches. I want as much break out of the putt as possible. I want to it hit the back of the cup, not just fall in. The more aggressive I putt, the better I putt.
    I’d argue over aiming to run just 4 inches past the hole. I don’t think that’s quite aggressive enough personally. But that’s me. I’d rather run it past 3 feet than have it come up short 1 inch. I got that attitude after they turned the holes upside down on us during the initial covid lockdowns and it’s been working well for me.
    I guess I can claim the practice with the wedges is paying off. I finished my round by sinking a short pitch from a downhill lie to a short sided pin from 20 yards for eagle with the lob wedge. Then followed that with a chip in birdie with the sand wedge after pulling the tee shot on the par 3 15th. Then I chipped and one putted in on 16, 17 for par, and chipped and one putted for birdie on 18 to finish. Today, with the greens freshly aerated and sanded I could go at any pin with a wedge. In fact it was safer to go for them then leave any length of putt and plenty safe to do so because the greens grabbed hard today with all those holes and sand. And I often enough had to since I had a case of the pulls off and on all day with my irons. If I missed a green, I missed left all day. Those last four holes I pulled every tee shot. But of the chips that didn’t just fall in for me, two of them were given to me inside a foot, and the last one was 6 foot dead uphill. One of the few putts of that distance or greater that I managed to get to fall today thanks to all the holes in the greens. Fun evening. Hit some great shots with the 4 wood tonight too. I gave the new swing a try with it and that worked even better than the irons have so far. A pull, a couple small fades, but the rest flew arrow straight and had the prettiest trajectory. I hit that thing farther than I’ve hit drivers in the past. It had me thinking Henrik Stenson watching some of those balls fly. If they were remote controlled I couldn’t have done better. Nice solid center strikes too. I can’t describe how good that felt.


    • Kevin,

      We agree that leaving a 4 to 6 foot putt short is very frustrating. The main point is to get the ball past the hole so it has an opportunity to go in. 4 inches I my comfort zone for distance.

      Congrats on some great chipping. Sounds like your practice is paying off!

      Cheers Jim


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