Snedeker maintained his poise down the stretch in the final round and did so by capitalizing on the strongest part of his game; putting.
Statistically, Snedeker leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting. At East Lake, he proved his greatness with the flat stick by finishing first in the field in the same statistic.
Compared to the field, he also finished second in putts per round (27.5) and third in putts per green in regulation (1.66). Combine that with being second best in driving accuracy and tied for seventh in greens in regulation and it’s difficult not to win.
So what makes Snedeker such a special putter? I’m sure he spends countless hours honing his craft by practicing, but I feel that what gives him an edge is that he is very decisive and confident before each putt.
Follow these tips so you too can become more decisive and improve your confidence on the greens:
• Improve your aim with effective practice. Most golfers are doomed before they hit the putt because they have no idea where their putter is aiming. Spend practice time focused solely on aiming correctly. I use a sharpie to make a tiny dot on the green about 6 inches in front of the ball. I then practice aiming the putter at the dot and rolling the ball on that line.
• Reduce the time you spend standing over the ball. Snedeker takes slightly less than two seconds to make his stroke after he has addressed the ball. This will prevent doubt from creeping in your mind, which can paralyze the stroke.
• Make your putting stroke instinctual. You wouldn’t think about how far your arm moves if you were to throw the ball at the hole, nor should you have to think about the size of your stroke as you putt. Your body will respect the speed and the distance of your putt by making the correct swing size if you let it. Allow gravity to swing the putter in a true pendulum type motion.
All you need to make putts is a good combination of speed, aim and confidence. And when you become more decisive in your reads and know that the putter is aimed correctly, your confidence will grow overnight!