What Makes The Length of The Putt so Difficult?
Some golfers struggle with a certain distance when putting. You might do well with long putts, but struggle on short putts.
Or you might struggle only with longer putts that require more touch.
Why would one length of putt give you fits on the green? Does your smooth stroke on 10-20 foot putts turn into a jerky stroke on shorter putts?
It’s the same task, right? You try to roll the ball along a line or at a target into the hole.
What makes the length of the putt so difficult?
Your mind gets in the way with preconceptions and expectations…
Golfers who struggle with short putts often have expectations about making them.
“I should make this three-footer.”
And if you don’t, you know you’re failing to reach your expectations. And embarrassment often plays on your mind.
Golfers who struggle with longer putts, don’t trust their touch or distance control. And to make matters worse, they have a bad history of three-putting, which form mental scars.
How can you maintain a smooth stroke on both short and longer putts?
First, you have to stop labeling your putts–in terms of length: “the dreaded 3-footer” for example.
When you put a label on a certain length putt, you change your approach to putting.
Instead you have to focus on: “a putt is a putt” no matter the distance.
When I was at The University of Virginia as a grad student, I got a chance to talk to David Duval who was playing for Georgia Tech at the time.
Duval’s approach: A three-footer is an extension of a one-footer; a five-footer is an extension of a three-footer. And a ten-footer is an extension of a five-footer.
He approached every putt the same no matter the distance or type… He did not label the putt as a certain type.
Second, I want you to think about the “common denominator” in putting.
What do you have to focus on–no matter the distance of the putt?
- Getting a confident read
- Picking a line or target
- Roll the ball on your line or at the target
- Have the right pace to match the line
No matter what the distance or type of putt, only the common denominators matter for good putting!
This means once you have your line selected, only (1) hitting the ball on your line with (2) good pace matters. And for most golfers, they tend to focus on one or the other.
Stop labeling your putts, and instead focus on rolling the ball down your line–no matter the distance. Doing so will lead to a smooth or consistent stroke no matter the length.
Related Article: Typical Fixes For The Yips That Don’t Last Long
Check out “Breaking The Yips Cycle” and learn how to free up your putting and trust your putting stroke.
Overcome The Yips and Enjoy Golf Again!
Golfers, do you suffer from:
- Anxiety, tension and over control of the stroke or swing?
- Performance anxiety about what others will think?
- Inability to wing the club freely on the course, despite the fact that you can in practice?
Check out: Breaking the Yips Cycle
Golfers: Learn how to overcome the fear that keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle
Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game edge.
Coaches: Help your team members play with freedom instead of fear or tension.
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