To say that having the right mindset will lead to holing more putts under pressure could be misleading. Excellent mental skills cannot overcome poor technical skills. You do need to have a well-practiced, repetitive stroke, and the word “ACTIVE” will help you hole more putts when it matters most:
• A for Attitude: You need a short memory for bad putts and a long memory for good putts. Tell yourself you love to putt and you are one of the best. The best thought-calming question is “can I hole it?” … and the answer is always yes.
• C for Commit: Commit to the line you’re going to start the ball on before you even put the putter head behind the ball.
• T for Tempo: Controlling your rhythm or tempo is so much better than trying to control the direction of the putter face when playing.
• I for Investigate: Know what you do under pressure and investigate past tendencies. Counter that with opposites. I think the dominant putting hand depends on your common miss. If you tend to miss putts to the left, correct it by guiding with the left hand. If you miss putts to the right, fix it by guiding with the right hand.
• V for Visualize: Visualize the path of the ball. Have a routine. Aim the putter face first.
• E for Execute: Let it go, let it be free. Give up control of your stroke to gain control of your ball. You shouldn’t try harder on the 72nd hole than you do on the first. Think of Tiger Woods’ putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 U.S. Open. His pre-shot routine didn’t change at all versus what he had done the rest of the week.
Facebook Viewer Question:
• Q: I usually record some stats when I play, like total putts on each hole, total up and downs, length of bunker shots, length of chip and pitch shots, as well as length of first putts. When I practice my short game, how can I use these statistics in order to have a more effective practice session? (Jose El Profe Donis)
• A: I think it’s a very good idea to keep stats. It takes some of the mystery out of why you score how you score. I would recommend if you are going to do it, try to keep it as same as possible to the way they do it on the PGA Tour. Record how much you get up and down from different distances and different lies to see where you need the work. Also, I‘d like you to keep track of how often you got the ball inside 8 feet because that may be a more accurate indicator of how good your short game is.
Martin’s Library: “The Putting Prescription” by Dr. Craig Farnsworth
“The Putting Prescription” by Dr. Craig Farnsworth is filled with dozens of great tips to help you improve your performance on the greens, and in this video segment Martin takes a look at four of those tips that he finds especially helpful. Watch Video
• Develop a great attitude.
• Think tempo, not direction.
Next week’s show: Chapter 24: Fairways and Greens, Wednesday 7PM ET
• School of Golf host Martin Hall will teach the big circle and little circle of the golf swing and explain how they can help you hit more fairways and greens. Hall will also share how Jason Dufner modeled his swing after Ben Hogan and how you can, too. Holly Sonders, meanwhile, will help answer viewer questions and assist with the instruction.For more School of Golf content visit the showpage.