Don’t Leave Putts Short!

Clearly, when it comes to putts from 20 feet or less, we have one goal. Hole it! Make the putt!

From 50 feet, getting it close and two putting is fine. Well done. BUT if you are not trying to make every putt inside 25 feet, you will lose to someone who is.

The worst miss from this distance is short. Ugh! Even thinking about leaving a makeable putt short hurts. There are four misses: Long, left, right, and short. We don’t love any of them, but short is the worst.


This great drill will assist your feel with feedback so you avoid leaving those putts short.

Lay a mid-iron down two and a half to three feet behind the hole. Use three balls and your normal routine for each putt. Simulate playing conditions just like you are on the course. The goal: You can’t leave any putts short. You must get every putt either in the hole, or past the hole, yet short of the golf club behind the hole. This is feedback. Practicing without it just gets you sunburned. Practicing with feedback can make you great!

As you can see in the first photo, no good. I left it short. In the second photo, I was able to roll the balls with good speed and not leave them short. I know this drill will help you make more putts.

Challenge yourself: In time, practice this drill until you make nine putts and leave nothing short. The penalty for leaving a putt short? Fetch it and start over at 0. Not easy, but it will 100% make you a better putter, with great speed control.

Barry Goldstein is Director of  Instruction at Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill, Florida

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