I’m a terrible golfer. I’m the kind of golfer who gets his money’s worth because I spend so much time on the course taking so many hits (and in golf, a lot of hits is a bad thing). As much as I love the game, I’m no good at it. (I’d love the opportunity to play more, but sadly I’m not the president of the United States.)
I recently came across a piece of advice on how I can easily and quickly reduce my handicap. In other words, I learned a simple way to get through the course with fewer strokes.
What’s more, it doesn’t involve buying a bigger driver, taking a bigger swing, hitting the ball harder, splurging money on new golf balls or more golf gear I don’t need.
It doesn’t even need a trip to the golf range.
To improve your golf game, do this
All I need to do is practice one thing, putts from inside three feet. That’s it.
It’s incredibly simple, straightforward and makes perfect sense. There’s an old adage that “golf is a game of putting”. Short putts are the key to reducing your stroke count.
I never realized this… I’d always thought about hitting it long and straight (although I do neither).
But no. I did some research to check it out. It turns out that golfing legend Phil Mickelson was once challenged by 1956 Masters and PGA Champion Jackie Burke to start practicing one hundred 3-foot putts at each practice session.
Since Phil adopted Jackie’s 3-foot drill, he’s won five majors. He calls these three-footers the “foundation” of his entire short game.
This “3-foot drill” serves a great reminder that it’s often the simplest advice that’s the most effective.
Golf… applied to your portfolio
And it’s no different when it comes to finance.
If you invest like I play golf, I’d recommend getting back to basics. Forget about taking wild speculative swings at the market. Focus on your three-footers.
I don’t mean start doing this the next time you buy a stock. I mean do it now. Just begin by giving your portfolio a quick overhaul.
It takes no time at all to login to an online brokerage account, and clear out those losers that you’ve been dreading to face up to. I’m talking about the ones that are down 40 percent or more… the ones you’ve held on to in the hope they’ll more than double and get you back to even.
Rebalance your positions if you need to. And do a quick sanity check on how diversified you are.
That’s it. That’s your “3-foot drill”. It could be worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to you in the months and years ahead.