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hacker23

Tap in "Gimme" Putting tips

39 posts in this topic

So what do you all do w/ the 1-3' "tap in" or "gimme" putts.

I'm a good putter but I sometimes miss these putts and its irritating. I've been using my standard putting setup and stroke but feel like is should lean on one leg, open up the body, and just "tap" it in!?
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I use the line on the ball if it is anything really over a foot or so and i'm pretty firm. I play a game on getting up and in and take it seriously so I get these alot and really just focus on a good aggressive stroke and hit it in the back of the cup.
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I've struggled with these too, especially on breakers. If it's a straight putt, the confidently put it at the back of the hole with a solid stroke.

Where I can get in trouble are the putts that may have 2-3" of break in them. For me, it's very important to pick a line and trust it. Once I've decided on the line, focus on the stroke and following through on the intended path rather than allowing your eyes to wander toward the cup.
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My putting technique is to read the break and incline and choose a spot to try to hit the ball to as if I were on a perfectly flat green, so downhill left breaker I'm trying to find the spot towards me from the hole that if I pretend the green is flat and I wanted to hit it in the hole there then it'll break and accelerate to the real hole.

So given that, I generally use the same mechanics as a normal putt except I pick a spot past the hole to aim at. Basically, unless it's significantly down hill, I'm trying to hit it fast through any touchy break and just ram it in the back of the hole. Unless there's extreme break, I'm trying to hit it hard enough that I can aim inside the edges of the cup.
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For me, the key is to avoid the urge to rush an "easy" tap-in when I'm not the last one to hole out. If I don't take the time to set up well and give it a good stroke, odds are I'll miss it. For the 1-footers it's not so bad, but if a 3-footer looks like it might be trouble, I think that's a long enough putt to give some respect. This is particularly true if you're going to be contorting your stance not to scratch up someone's line. If you're going to need a minute to read it and set it up, don't be too shy about passing up the "just clean it up" offers you'll inevitably get. Obviously if it really is just a tap in, just clean it up, but ready golf shouldn't mean sloppy golf.

Once every few times I hit the practice range, I like to practice a large number of tap-in putts. Usually I just pick a hole and try to sink at least 10, sometimes 30 or more, in a row. When practicing short putts, I find I *must* take the pin out of the cup or it's not a useful drill. Knowing that you just spent 10 minutes making 29 in a row and that you can move on to something if you just sink the 30th puts some pressure on you for that last one. I suggest making it a 3-footer with a little break.
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If there is only one thing you can practice before your round, it better be the three foot putt. There is no other shot in golf that can piss me off quicker than missing one of these, especially a straight one. I try to take my time, follow my routine, keep down through the putt and listen for it to go in.

Today, I went to the range and the first thing I did was hit about 15 3 footers and then moved to 6 and 10. Then I hit balls and then chips and pitches. Finally I hit the ten footer and then ended with making a bunch of three footers. I do this regularly because they are that important.
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Lots of good advice. You must practice these a lot if youu want to feel comfortable with them. When I have these shots, I only have two thoughts: inside the hole and firm.
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Well only putts that I tell myself to stroke firm are the uphill putts. All other putts I don't really think about the distance, just try to visualize where the ball will roll in. Visualization works wonders in all facets of sports and golf is no exception.

On short putts, I try to come through the ball because my misses in the past have been to the right because I leave my putter hanging. So I make practice strokes to make sure I am finishing through the ball. A 3' putt is no gimme and has every right for me to take my time and give it my full attention. Missing a 2-3' putt is not fun and can effect you mental game so I never take them lightly. Don't put more pressure on yourself because the putt is a SHOULD MAKE but putt as if it were like any other putt.

I don't practice putting as much as I should but feel very confident in putting. I spend most of my time practicing my chip shots (bump n runs) because most of my misses are quite close to the green which have me chipping to get up and down.
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Clock drill. Pick a hole and plant tees about three feet from the lip at 12- 3-, 6- and 9 o'clock. Place a ball next to each tee and make all four putts. Retrieve balls and repeat. You can make it into a game if you like. Some people set a target number to make without missing (30, say, or 100 if you're Phil Mickelson) and if you do miss you go all the way back to one and start again. This adds a little authentic pressure. I generally just pick a total and then stay there until I've made that many and my stroke feels good.
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If there is only one thing you can practice before your round, it better be the three foot putt. There is no other shot in golf that can piss me off quicker than missing one of these, especially a straight one. I try to take my time, follow my routine, keep down through the putt and listen for it to go in.

Couldn't agree more. The most important shot in golf. It makes getting up and down easier, makes trying to hole putts easier as not fearing the comebacker, keeps momentum in the round.

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thanks for all the advice.

I'll definately practice sinking about 30 of them in a row to build my confidence and memory. I feel thats what i lack w/ these short putts, the confidence. I tend to think "if i putt too hard and miss, I will have an even longer putt coming back". <-- actually, that's exactly what my problem is.
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resquare your clubface until it looks right.
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resquare your clubface until it looks right.

This won't help much if your eyes are way inside or outside the ball at set up, as then what looks right will actually be to the right (or left) of the hole.

Anyway, that's the empirical view. There's also a school of thought that says just free your mind and the ball will drop. They would say to putt the short ones as if they're already conceded. Step up, pick a small target on the hole (a blade of grass on the lip, or scuff at the back of the cup), fix that in your mind and just pop the putt at it with no conscious thought of stroke mechanics. YMMV.
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So what do you all do w/ the 1-3' "tap in" or "gimme" putts.

I play them exactly the same as any other putt. I don't see any conceivable reason why I should do it any different. If you are otherwise a good putter, then it's strictly a mental thing. If you have trouble with putting in general, then maybe you need to consider that entire aspect of your game.

A few years ago I got a case of the yips. 3 feet was a guaranteed 2 putt, maybe even a 3 putt. My solution was a different style of putter, switching from a heel shafted Odyssey blade to a center shafted high MOI putter from Golfsmith components. That putter is still working for me. But I don't know you, don't know if that would have any meaning at all for you. My point is to try some things.... maybe a lesson... different setup, different grip, different putters.... experiment. With putting you never know where the answer might come from.
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Hit it hard and never give up the hole unless there is an extreme slope in the 3' range. The good thing about a short putt is that if it is near the center of the hole it should go in unless you hit it 10 times too hard. Don't try and baby it. Hit it like you mean it.

This works about 90% of the time. Sometimes there will be that big slope and/or downhill where you really have to guide it in. In that case, trust your line and speed and hit it in.
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resquare your clubface until it looks right.

This won't help much if your eyes are way inside or outside the ball at set up, as then what looks right will actually be to the right (or left) of the hole.

So you're advising against doing this?

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I will use my tap in stroke, which is usually one leg forward with most of the weight on it, usualy my right leg and just wack it in the hole, from 4 feet or in. I honestly like using that type of stroke for short shots. My dad hates it because he always taught me to take my time, i just bomb these 5 footers all round with a tap in style stroke.
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So you're advising against doing this?

Nope. Just suggesting it's worth checking out your setup sometime so you know what you're square to.

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