The Right Mindset and Techniques for Putting

    As you know, putting is a challenge that has a significant mental component. It is important to have a quality stroke, and it is important to set up over the ball properly, but it is also important to think clearly while putting. You have to be confident, focused, and completely committed to the task at hand. It is easy to let your mind wander when putting, and that is when things can go wrong.

    The idea of having the right mindset when putting certainly relates to your alignment. Once you have done your preparation and aligned the putter properly with the target, you then have to trust your alignment throughout the stroke. If you have doubts that you set up correctly, you may be thinking about making adjustments during the stroke to steer the ball back onto the right line. Obviously, that would be trouble. So how do you get to a point where you have complete trust in the preparation that goes into each putt? The following tips should help.

  • Practice, practice, practice. You should have expected this to be the first point. The best way to build confidence in anything you are trying to do with your golf game is to practice it. By going through your alignment routine over and over again on the practice green, you can dial it in so that it’s second nature on the course. There will be no reason to doubt it during your rounds because you have done it successfully so many times in practice. It is a great feeling to have this kind of trust in your game. Unfortunately, many golfers never get to this level because they rush through their practice routines. It is common for amateur golfers to fire off putt after putt without thinking much about their target or their technique. That is simply a waste of time. If you are going to get any kind of meaningful results out of your practice time, you need to practice the same way that you play. Invest plenty of effort and focus into each practice putt and reap the benefits later when you are on the course.
  • No adjustments allowed. Simply put, you need to make it a rule in your game that you aren’t going to try to adjust your stroke on the fly. In other words, once the stroke begins, you are just going to do your best to execute it cleanly from start to finish. You aren’t going to doubt your preparation and try to pull or push the ball onto the intended target line. At first, it can be hard to trust this idea, as you are probably used to making adjustments along the way in order to steer the ball back onto what you think is the right line. You may make a couple of putts this way on occasion, but you’ll never enjoy consistency. Be disciplined enough to stop yourself from adjusting on the fly and your game will be better for it.
  • Accept the imperfection of the game. At the professional level, a player who is averaging around 28 putts per round is said to be doing quite well with the flat stick. What does that mean? Even a pro who is putting well is still missing 10 times per round. Knowing that, it is important to accept the fact that you aren’t searching for perfection on the greens. Some of your putts are going to miss – that’s just the way it goes. If you are trying to demand perfection from yourself when putting, you are always going to wind up frustrated. Even worse, you will probably keep changing your technique because you aren’t getting the (unrealistic) results you desire. It might be counterintuitive, but in order to become a better putter you need to embrace the fact that some of your putts are going to miss. Be okay with missing and you might see more of your putts fall into the hole.
  • Your mindset isn’t only important when you are on the greens. The way you think during a round of golf, no matter what kind of shot you are playing, is critical to your success. Pay attention to your mindset during upcoming rounds and work on making changes for the better when you notice unhealthy habits start to pop up. The best golfers are positive, focused, confident, and determined to play well. By taking as many negative or distracted thoughts out of your game as possible, improved performance could be right around the corner.