The key to the success of any shot is your ability to have a single picture in your mind of the shot you are going to play and feeling confident that it will happen. The majority of my mental golf clients come to me wanting greater consistency, yet have very inconsistent approaches to their game, even at the top levels.
If you want to putt well consistently, you need to play consistent mental golf for each putt. This is particularly true in putting where the margins for error are so small and the stakes are so high. Your mind and body need a routine and stroke that you can repeat under any conditions.
Your pre-putt routine starts immediately after you have read the green and committed to your exact putt. You have already walked the distance of your putt to measure the yardage, you have viewed and felt the slopes underfoot and decided on the break. Now it’s time to focus on grooving consistent golf psychology through a simple routine.
Every top golfer has his or her own pre-shot routine so there is no “one size fits all” routine. This routine needs to include a combination of actions for your body and mind to practice making the putt enough times to know the ball will go in the hole. One of my most important mental golf tips is to successfully rehearse shots up to 3 times at each phase of the routine. This is important as we usually take up to 3 times to be convinced that it will happen – 3 times to be truly ready.
There are 5 Steps that I coach my clients to incorporate in their routine to create certainty in their golf psychology.
Step 1 – Picture from behind
Stand approximately 6 feet directly behind your ball, facing the hole with your eyes horizontal, to get the most accurate picture in your mind of the putt. As you look down the line of the putt in this position, take around three successful practice strokes to get a feel for the length of putt. Breathe slowly through your nose to slow down your state.
Step 2 – Walk to your putt
Walk to the ball picturing the putt being holed up to 3 times
Step 3 – Set up for “Preview” putt
Set up 4 inches to the left of the ball – setting up everything square (feet, hips shoulders) with your eyes over the aim line simplifies everything in your mind
Step 4 – The Preview
Take around three practice strokes until you see and feel the perfect stroke for rolling the ball 18 inches past the left edge of the hole
Step 5 - The Putt
Address the ball, taking one look to set up square for your putt holding a clear picture of the ball rolling in. Then in rhythmical sequence look down at your ball, take another look at the target, swing back and stroke through to hole your putt.
Enjoy grooving in consistent golf psychology to create consistent putting. You will find more golf tips on how to develop consistent golf psychology in my other blogs and free audio tipcasts. If you find these mental golf tips useful, you might want to keep them to yourself, or if you want stiffer competition, share them with your friends!
Adam SpracklingMental Golf Coach