College Practice Plan: 3-Foot Putt Drill

I recently ran across a channel on YouTube called “Scratch Golf“. There I found a video on practicing golf using a college golf team practice schedule. As was mentioned in the video, for those of you perhaps outside the US, college golf in the US is basically amateur golf played at a very high level, and most golfers on the PGA tour came through the college system (one notable exception is Ted Potter, Jr, one of my favorite golfers). The plan presented by Scratch Golf included a spreadsheet with a list of weekly drills covering putting, chipping, pitching, iron play, and driving. It was such a compelling video and well laid-out plan, I decided to give it a shot. What I want to describe in this post is my experience with the first drill, the 3-Foot Putt Drill.

The drill goes like this:

  • Put six tees in the ground in a circle around the hole, 3 feet away from the hole. Use your putter as a guide – putters are typically between 34 and 36 inches, so they are perfect for this.
  • Place a golf ball by each of the tees, slightly off to the side so that you won’t hit the tee.
  • The objective is to hit 25 3-foot puts IN A ROW. If you missing a putt – you have to start over.
Using a putter to measure out 3 feet to place tees
The completed tee ring.

The pressure can really mount up once you get over 18, and get into your 23, 24th, and 25th putts. The pressure you feel is a great simulation for situations you may find out on the golf course, where perhaps you need a short putt to get a birdie, win a match, tie your personal best, NOT score a triple bogey on the hole – whatever myriad of pressure situations we find ourselves in out on the course.

I spent nearly an hour and a half on this drill, and only succeeded in getting 17 in a row at best. But thanks to the structure and gamification this drill offers, I spent nearly 90 minutes working on 3-foot putts – something I would have never done if I were out there just casually putting around.

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