Mental Putting Strategic Thinking

If you are one of the few amateur golfers who thinks actively about course management and strategy, you probably think about it mostly in terms of the shots you hit from tee to green. But did you know there is strategy involved in putting, as well? Golf is a game that favors the player who is willing to think carefully about each one of his or her shots. That is true on the tee and in the fairway, and it is also true on the greens.

So, what kind of strategies can help you hole more putts? Let’s take a look.

  • Take your chances to be aggressive. When you have the opportunity to run a putt up to the hole with an aggressive pace, you should take that chance. For example, if you have an uphill putt from a reasonable distance, you won’t want to leave that putt short, or even have it limp up slowly to the hole. Knowing that the uphill slope is going to prevent the putt from getting away, plan on using aggressive speed to hold the line and give the putt a great chance to fall in. You are going to face plenty of putts during the average round which require you to be cautious and play it safe, so be sure to take your chances for an aggressive roll when they do come up.
  • Play more break. As a general rule of thumb, the average golfer tends to play too little break on his or her putts. By simply playing more break, you will give the ball a better chance to fall in. You are never going to get all of your reads right, as this is simply a difficult part of the game to master. You can, however, play the ball a little farther to the high side, meaning it will still be turning towards the cup as it slows down. If you don’t play enough break, the ball will never have a chance to fall in once it drops below the line. It might be a little awkward at first to play more break than you actually see, but you’ll get used to this method soon enough. In fact, pretty soon you will start to see that you should have been reading more break all along.
  • Getting down in two can be a win. Sometimes, the best way to make more putts is by understanding that it’s okay to miss the first putt. When you are putting from all the way across the green, your chances of actually making the first putt are between slim and none. Sure, that first putt may drop in from time to time – and those are always fun – but you should never expect that to happen. When facing a long putt, your goal should always be to get down in two putts, so you can move on to the next hole successfully. The key to getting down in two is controlling the speed of your first putt while getting as close as possible on the line. If the speed is right and the line is close, you should have little trouble tapping in your next putt and moving on.

You have to think your way around the golf course. If you believe that simply improving your physical skills is going to allow you to shoot lower and lower scores, you are in for a rude awakening. Golf is a game that requires excellent decision-making from the start of each round on through to the end. If you fall asleep on the greens from a strategy perspective, you are going to pay the price.