Golf tip: Drill to help stop the three-putt

Hitting a coin will improve your ball striking.

Charlie Lemay's picture
John Hoskison
Fri, 3 May 2013

We all suffer - at some time - from three-putting. It's frustrating, it's irritating, it's confidence-draining and it costs us unnecessary shots as we strive to produce better scores to reduce our handicaps.

Sounds simple, but rolling the ball up close to the hole for a tap-in after a long putt is the quickest way to stop three-putting. It requires good touch and, most important, a consistent strike of the ball with your putter.


Normally it's distance, not accuracy, with which golfers have trouble. This putting drill was thought up by former major champion Johnnie Miller in the 1970s and helps develop a consistent strike.

Place a coin on the kitchen floor, normally the flattest, smoothest surface in the house - unless, of course, you've got those farmhouse flagstones preferred in modern designs!


Aiming at a target and, keeping the putter head low to the surface, try hitting the coin along the floor. To do this effectively your angle of approach needs to be at the same consistent level on each putt. Too steep and the coin will jump into the air, too much on the up swing and you will hit the ground behind the coin.

Hitting one putt on the upswing and the next on the downswing will have a dramatic effect on the distance a putt travels.

Practice this exercise and very quickly your putting stroke will allow the putter blade to come into the ball at a consistent level and your distance control will improve.

John Hoskison has been a professional golfer for over 35 years, during which time he has had the privilege of playing against many of the top players in the world. He’s written four bestselling books including a fictional novel, and has spoken to over 80,000 young people at schools, about making the right choices in life. He is also the top golf writer for Suite101 where he has written over 300 golf articles





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