Short Putting

Short Putting

By, Brad Pluth



KISS Method: Keep It Simple Silly

Start close to the hole and master short putts and your lag putts, chips, pitches and approach shots become easier.

golf achievement zone #1





How good are you?


Did you know:

PGA Tour Professionals only make 50% of their putts from 8’…

what you’re seeing on tv is all the best players, playing their best.




Short PUtting Guide


Self Assessment

Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten how good of a putter you think you are from three feet, six feet and eight feet?

Initial Response From 3’   

Not good     Average        Above Average       Tour Pro

Initial Response From 6’   

Not good     Average        Above Average       Tour Pro

Initial Response From 8’   

Not good     Average        Above Average       Tour Pro

What Score Are You Trying To Achieve?

Are you trying to Break

100     90      80      Par



Why Is Short Putting Important?

Short Putting is the first zone of achievement and it is easy to start from the hole and work backwards. Any golfer can putt and you’ll finish with a putt on the majority of the holes you’ll play.

If you can consistently make your four foot putts, two-putting becomes easier, getting the ball up and down is easier, and you’ll be able to finish your best approach shots.

Just think if you can consistently make every putt inside six feet, eight feet or even ten feet?

This skill is not the most glamorous to work on but it may be the most important to expand your scoring ability



Reality Check With Stats:

Golfers do not argue with their own data, they just don’t know what to look for.

Below are some interesting stats

Note even Tour Players miss one out of a hundred from inside three feet. And they are going to make 86% of their putts from 4-5’ compared to a golfer that shoots 90-100 who will only make 62%.

There is rarely a reason to practice putting from inside three feet, unless you can’t make 9 out of 10 from 3’ or one putter away.

It is my goals to give you purposeful practice strategies to help you achieve your goals.








Managing Expectations:
Probability OF making putts on PGA Tour

Notice how often they one-putt, three putt and number of putts they average to get the ball in the hole.

Do you make 96% of your three foot putts?

Do you make two out of three from six feet?

Do you make half of your putts from eight feet?


That last one surprises most golfers which should also highlight the importance of lagging your putts and chipping it close from around the green.

Now how good do you feel about your putting?

These stats are meant to free you up and create realistic expectations that you can achieve.

Are you a poor, good or great short putter?

Here is what you need to do:

With one golf ball, your putter and a hole, think of a clock around the hole, and you are going to putt from 1 O'Clock to 10 O'Clock from each hour. You will want to cruise through this game if you use more than one ball and if you are trying to lower your score, you need to go through your whole routine and step behind to find and set your line, every time and you’ll do fine!


On your first attempt, start from 3’ and if you make 9 out of 10, move back to 4’ and repeat. If you make your goal, continue to move back. If you miss your goal, write down the distance so you can benchmark your improvement below.

Benchmarks Based On Your Scoring Goals

Break 100 Start at three feet until you can make 9 out of 10. Move back to four feet until you can make 7 out of 10, then move back to five and then six feet and repeat.

Break 90 Start at three feet until you can make 9 out of 10. Move back to four feet until you can make 8 out of 10, then move back to five, six and seven feet and repeat.

Break 80 Start at three feet until you can make 9 out of 10. Move back to four feet until you can make 9 out of 10, then move back to five, six, seven and eight feet and repeat.

Break Par Start at three feet until you can make 10 out of 10. Move back to four feet until you can make 10 out of 10, then move back to five, six, seven and eight feet and repeat.



starting at your prescribed distance, 2' if you are trying to Break 100 or 90, 3' if you are trying to break 80 or Par. Go through you full routine like you would on the golf course and record you score.




What I believe as a coach:

Golf is a game and games should be fun!

What get’s measured, get’s improved.

Golfers do not argue with their own data, they just don’t know what to look for.

Respect the individual in how they think, move and enjoy their game of golf.


Three basics skills you need to make short putts.

  1. Strike the sweet spot of the putter
  2. Roll the ball the right distance
  3. Aim the putter’s sweet spot where you are looking, make a stroke and return it to it’s original position.

How do you strike the sweet spot?

          There are number of factors that influence striking the sweet spot. Let’s start with the tool in your hand. Tap a ball across the putter face and feel where it is the most solid? Is it behind the target line on the putter?

2. The easiest way to get the ball rolling on line is to:

Step behind…

          Set your line

                    Every time

                              And you’ll do fine!

Do you see lines or curves?

Do you find yourself missing putts and rolling the ball over the point outside the hole where you were looking?  Try focusing on the entry point.

View the hole as a clock and see what time it’s going to go in.

Once you identify the entry point from behind the ball, walk into the ball with your focus on the entry point, not the ball or a spot outside the hole or spot in front of the ball. Set your blade behind the ball and then refocus on the entry point and build your stance. Look back at the ball and envision pushing the ball into the hole in real time. Focus your eyes on the impact point and roll it.

If you see lines, find a spot either in front of the ball of outside the hole from behind the ball. Pick a spot in front of the ball and walk into the ball and aim your blade or sweet spot at that point and build your stance. Push the ball over your intermediate point and into the hole with your eyes. Refocus on the impact point of the ball or the spot 1” to 1’ in front of the ball and roll the ball into the hole.

Set Up FUNdamentals

  1. Stance Width
  2. Power Angle
  3. Weight Distribution
  4. Grip
  5. Power Source


  1. Stance Width:

Stand up tall allow your arms to hang naturally. Find where your wrists hang at the same angle, you may need a mirror to see this so do this next time you brush your teeth.

Make a mental note of how wide your big toes are relative to your hips.

  1. Power Angle

Step 1: Stand tall and let your arm hang while simply open your dominant hand palm. measure the angle between the middle finger and your shoulder.

This angle will show up in your grip, stance and carry angle and show up a lot in putting stroke and your full swing.

Step 2 Identify your dominant core region:
If your angle is greater than 158 degrees you’ll be an Upper Core golfer.
If your angle is between 153-159 degrees you’ll be a Mid Core golfer.
If your angle is less than 152 degrees you’ll be a Low core golfer.

Note this may change with weight gains or height changes and should be monitored quarterly.


  1. Weight Distribution
    If your angle is greater than 158 degrees, you’re weight should be on the balls of your feet.

If your angle is greater than 158 degrees you’ll be an upper core golfer.
If your angle is between 153-159 degrees you’ll be a mid core golfer.
If your angle is less than 152 degrees you’ll be a low core golfer.

  1. Grip or Attachment to the club

If you’re an Upper Core golfer, angle is greater than 158, your grip should go through the base knuckle of each hand.


If you’re a Mid Core angle is between 153-159 degrees you’re grip should run through the middle finger middle knuckle of both hands.

If you’re a Low Core golfer, you angle is less than 152 degrees, your grip should run through the middle finger, middle knuckle.


  1. Power Source
    Upper core will feel like shoulders will rock like a teeter-totter.
    Lower Core will fee like the right arm will fold and extend.
    Mid Core will feel a blend of shoulders and trail arm.


  1. Eyes Over The Ball

Take your putting stance and drop a ball from the bridge of your nose and measure how many putter heads away from the ball you are. When your eyes are over the ball, you’ll see the line rather than a curve.






Distance and Direction

Distance and Direction

Speed trumps direction.

Two questions to ask from the The Art Of Putting:

  1. Is this putt makable?
  2. How does the ball need to roll into the hole?

These two simple questions will guide your mind to find the right solution to accomplishing the goal of the game of golf… get the ball in the hole!

Below is a list of items that effect distance and direction







Putter Fitting

          Next, is the putter the right size or length, weight and lie angle? Most putters are 35” because they fit in the bag, not because they fit people. Typically a 35” putter fits someone that is 6’6 to 6’8. The average length on the PGA Tour is 32.5” and LPGA Tour is 31.5”.

Once while I was at a Dave Pelze Short Game School we had a 7’1 golfer and a 4’9 golfer and my 5’13 frame stand shoulder to shoulder and our knuckles to the ground only varied by four inches. But that didn’t matter because you do not stand up tall when you putt, you take an athletic stance and some golfer bend a little, and some a lot.

35” putters are designed to fit in the bag, not fit people, unless you’re 6’6 to 6’8 tall. The length of the putter will influence how you aim and your posture. Remember, your equipment should compliment your stroke, not complicate it. More often then not, putters are too long.

First thing I try to get my players ball over the ball or at least to the inside of the ball. Best to take a video from behind with the camera lens on the ball.

Next hands hang under the shoulders.

Eye dominance will determine ball location. Right eye dominant golfers will put the ball under their nose lead temple.

If you measure the distance from the ball to their toe (a), and the ground to the lead wrist (b) you can use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the length (c). (

The next key is finding the right weight. Lay a string down at 20’ that is about three feet long and putt. When you find the right weight, you’ll notice a tight grouping.


Where can you get fit? One problem with simply cutting down your putter is that it get’s light. Find a local PGA Professional, 2nd Swing Location or PING Putter fitter to get dialed in.

For more information visit on the variables and process involved in fitting a putter. 2nd Swing Fitting or for the extended dance mix versions view this video.









Benchmark and Skills Test


What are you trying to? Break 100, 90, 80 or par? There are different progressions to achieve your golfing goals. Each progression has a different goal and starting point.


9 Golf Skills Tests


9-Shots Based On Handicap
























Your Level














 Starting Distance

3’ or One Club

4’ or Alignment Stick

Alignment Stick +grip




1. Short Putts

3 Feet

3 Feet

3 Feet

3 Feet

4 Feet

4 Feet

5 Feet

5 Feet

6 Feet




6 of 10

7 of 10

8 of 10

9 of 10

7 of 9

8 of 9

6 of 10

7 of 10

9 for 10




Your goal is to make 9 out of 10 from 3’ and 4’. You do not have to be perfect, but if you do make 10 out of 10 you will have more confidence.

This basic skill of getting the ball started on line at a reasonable pace is essential for developing your golf skills.

Click to watch the video





Tempo Training

Tempo training is a hidden secret to consistent putting.

Did you know that your backswing time doesn’t change for a 3’ putt, 10’ putt, or 40’ putt?

Read that again…

A simple way to work on your tempo is download the ProMetronome App or any other metronome app and set it to 66 beats per minute. Your backswing to impact should be that tick-tock sound or “Back-impact.”

Exercise one. Clap along to the beat for 20-seconds and take a 10 second break and repeat for three sessions.

Exercise two: Tap on your for 20 beats and take 10 beats off and repeat.

Exercise three: close your eyes and tap or clap along.

Exercise four: Without a ball make 10 strokes to the beat. Back-impact, back-impact, back-impact.

Exercise five: Add a ball from 3’ and make 5 putts using the metronome. Repeat five strokes without the metronome.

Exercise six: With a ball from 6’ or two steps away, one with the metronome, one without. Repeat for 10 total putts.

Exercise six- Two putts from three steps away, five steps away, and seven steps away. One putt with the metronome, one without.

Exercise seven- Three putts from 10, 15 and 20-steps away, one with the metronome, and one without. Repeat until you can get the ball to stop within a putter length before moving back.

Exercise eight- rehearse with metronome and then putt without the metronome for nine holes to random holes.

Exercise nine- Nine holes putting with one ball and the metronome running with the goal of 21 or less strokes. Start from 5 steps away, then six… all the way to 13 steps away.



Stroke Building Sequence:


  1. Palms opposing and matching the face
  2. Push the ball into the hole.
  3. Right hand only- paint brush strokes.
  4. Eyes closed- three putts from 2, 5, and 10 steps away, open your eyes when you think the ball stops.
  5. Compass drill- Make a putt from a putter length away or 3’ away North, South, East and West around the hole. If you make all four in a row, move back to 4’ and repeat, 5’ and repeat.


Remember, take your time and step behind, every time and you’ll do fine!

  1. Eyes looking at the hole and putt.
  2. Lay a 2x4 or alignment stick on the ground and putt ten 3’ and 4’ putts.
  3. Lay a coin or tee on the green and from 3’ miss left and right, short and long. Repeat from 4’ and 5’.
  4. Waterfall, Swish, Backboard putts. From 3’, 4’ and 5’ predict if the ball is going to
    1. barely fall over the edge like a waterfall
    2. go into the middle like a swish basketball shot
    3. hit the back of the hole and go in like a bank shot.


Putting – Drills

So now we know what length to practice, how do we practice it? Below I will describe some of my favorite drills.

3 to 15 feet putts

Drill 1 : 3-6-9

In 3-6-9, you place a marker at 3, 6 & 9 feet from the hole. Hole 3 in a row from 3 feet, then move back to the 6 feet and hole 3 in a row and finally move back to the 9 feet and hole the final 3 in a row. Sounds easy? Well there’s 1 rule, if you miss a putt you start over with the first 3 feet putt and work your way through the 3 stations. The object of the drill is to get all 9 putts in a row.

Drill 2 : Clock Face

Place a marker at 12 feet from the hole at 12 o’clock and continue to place markers 12 feet from the hole at 1,2,3 o’clock, etc around the hole until you have completely surrounded the hole at each hour on the clock face. Then the task is simple, work your way around the clock face holing as many putts as you can. Keep your score and continually try to beat your record.

25+ feet





Tools and Resources

Around the house: yard stick, alignment stick/driveway marker, 2x4


Training Aid


Putting Stick $79 thin alignment stick with mirror to make sure you eyes are over the ball and your set-up is perfect.

Blast Motion Sensor $124

HackMotion $795

Eyeline 360 Mirror

Eyeline Shoulder Mirror

Pendulum Rod

Sergio Putterball- occasionally find on Amazon or Ebay for $20-40.

Live View Golf or Live View Pro $349

Phone Apps- ProMetronome set at 66 for time.

(James, how many beats per minute to make a .60 second backstroke? 66?)