Every golfer feels like kicking him or her self when he or she makes a three putt. It just seems so unnecessary. It is unnecessary.
When this happens most golfers ask of their self what they did wrong in terms of their stroke. We are inclined to look towards issues such as mechanics, green reading and assessment of distance as our first ports of call. Yet when you really think about it, these are not the causes of the majority of three putts.
The real cause lies in what came earlier. Poor course management, poor shot choice or poor execution of the approach shot, are the things that really cause the majority of three putts. Once again, most golfers will tend to focus in upon the mechanics of their approach shot in terms of cause and turn a blind eye to other factors.
And yet again, it’s far more likely to have been a something more mental that lies at the real root of the issue. Poor course management or poor shot choice or not committing fully to the shot in hand will be the real cause of the majority of your three putts. All of these are mental issues and nothing to do with the mechanics of the shot in hand.
Thus, if as a golfer you wish to avoid three putts, it pays to apply a checklist to the mental aspects of this game.
- Did you manage the hole well?
- Did you work your way backwards from tee to green when deciding what shots to play?
- Was your ball lying in the position you planned to approach the green from?
- Did you choose the correct shot for the conditions?
- Did you feel comfortable with that club in your hand?
- Did you take a couple of practice strokes and feel the shot?
- Did you visualize the shot well with the ball flying and landing on the green, ending up close to the pin?
- Did you commit fully to that shot or were you in two minds and you made your stroke?
If, after answering these questions, you truly feel that you made all of the correct decisions, then you know you have applied a good mindset to the shot. If the shot didn’t work as planned it perhaps was poor execution or not knowing what that club would do in the conditions.
You have to analyze all aspects of a shot correctly, both mental and mechanical, so as to know that you are working on the necessary things in your golf game. The cause of your three putts could indeed be simply poor putting, but it is more likely to involve other elements.
And if it was poor putting to blame, then you need to examine both the mental and the mechanical aspects of this so as to ensure that you are working on the real issues that are at play!