The triple is never fun, but also for the best in the world, it happens from time to time. Steve Stricker leads the PGA Tour to avoid three points this season, but he has still carded six triples out of 540 total holes – and is one of the best putters in the world. No matter how pure you are on the green, remember that triple is an inevitability.
To further strengthen this point, Lou Stagner, one of the protagonists of the data-driven Decade Golf system, recently posted a graph on Twitter showing the percentages of three putts for PGA Tour professionals from all distances and the results are quite fascinating. You can check it out below.
Some of the takeaways are obvious, like the fact that the further away from the hole you get, the more likely you are to have three points. But there are some things that have been more surprising, such as at what distance it becomes more likely that you three-putt rather than one-putt. According to the graph, this occurs 33 feet from the hole. For many amateurs, a 33-foot approach should be referred to as a victory, however at this distance it is even more likely that they will go with a cart than a bird.
Also noteworthy is the rapidity with which the percentages of a putt fall between three and 10 feet. For each foot that moves you away from the hole, your chances of decreasing decrease from 5 to 11 percent.
And once out of the 25-foot radius, there is less than a 10 percent chance of putt hole. So unless you touch it relatively close to the pin, your target should drop in two instead of shaking your first shot.