A lot goes on in a 3-foot putt. In the golfer’s mind, that is.
Many of us stand over short putts thinking about our alignment, stroke mechanics, the putt’s speed and the consequences of missing the knee-knocker. None of these thoughts are conducive to making a good stroke.
How do you eliminate the brain chatter? Simple—focus on a specific part of the hole, and nothing else.
Let’s say you’ve got a straight-in 3-footer that’s slightly uphill. Once you’re lined up and standing over the ball, focus on the back of the cup. Take a peak or two at this spot, then rap the ball into it.
On a downhill putt, the front of the cup is your focus. The ball should clear the lip with just a touch of pace.
If the putt has a little break, determine where the ball should enter the hole—say, two inches left of center. That’s your focus point.
Basketball players use a similar method when shooting free throws, visualizing the ball clearing the front of the rim. Concentrating strictly on your target prevents the mind from wandering to other thoughts that can cause tension and doubt.