Golfers Who Are Afraid Of Missing Putts

Overcoming Golf Yips

Are You Afraid Of Missing Putts?

Do you stand over a putt and know you won’t make it? Does the image of the ball missing burst any confidence you had from putting practice?

Here’s a new question that one reader asked on the putting yips survey:

“How do you get rid of the feeling, when you stand over a putt, you know you can’t make it?”

You can miss putts in two ways:

  1. See the putt miss before you pull the putter back
  2. Miss the hole after you hit the putt

If you think you will miss the putt, then it’s not really an attempt to make the putt–it’s an attempt to miss.

Some golfers miss the putt in their minds before they hit it. Some say to themselves that they will miss it.

In either case, you’re not helping matters with the yips.

The feeling of missing before you even attempt to hit the putt comes from past misses and knowing the yips will cause you to miss again.

It’s a vicious cycle.

“I’ve missed in the past, so I will miss again.”

How do you stop this negative cycle or thinking your will miss again?

Do you have to make putts before you can starting thinking you will make putts again?

That approach not going to work in my opinion.

First, stop focusing on missing or making. You already know the goal–that’s a given. Instead focus on the process of hitting a good putt, hitting the ball on your intended line or with good pace.

It’s the outcome of missing that causes the tension.

You can focus on a lot of other things that will lead to a better, more positive attempt:

  • Focus on hitting your target/line.
  • Think about your pace or speed.
  • Feel solid contact.
  • Think about swinging the putter freely.

Any of these would be better than focusing on the outcome, or in this case, the negative outcome.

Second, lock onto a positive image of the putt at the start of your routine and burn that image in your mind.

For example, if you are a visual putter, lock on to the image of the line in your mind’s eye. Hold that image in your mind and only think about hitting the ball on your line–during your routine.

This way, you are more proactive with your routine and what you focus on over the ball.

Keep in mind that thinking about missing is a huge source of tension in the yips cycle–because of the fear of embarrassment that comes with missing, for example.

Check out “Breaking The Yips Cycle” and learn all my strategies for overcoming fear and putting freely again.

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