Why The Last Thought When Putting Is Critical

Overcoming Golf Yips

Thought You Have Before Making A Putt?

I discuss with my personal coaching students frequently about the last thought over the ball because it is so critical for good execution…

When you have the yips, you think about everything you shouldn’t think about–before you take the putter back (or during the stroke).

These thoughts might include:

  • “Will I yip again?”
  • “Don’t miss it on the low side.”
  • “How silly will I look if I miss a two-footer?”
  • “Make sure you make a good stroke.”
  • “What am I supposed to do? I’m clueless.”
  • “Take it back straight and stay calm at impact.”
  • “Gosh, this feels uncomfortable.”

Sound familiar? You can see that none of these thoughts will lead to a confident or relaxed stroke.

So what should you focus on when you are over a shot or putt?

First, you have to determine your preferred learning and performing style. This will produce the best results…

Quick story…

I was working with Grant Waite on the range one year at Bay Hill before the Arnold Palmer Classic.

He was unsure what to think about during his routine. He said he had trouble visualizing his shot, but thought that was a weakness…

I said to him: “Maybe seeing shots is not a strength of yours. You are probably a kinesthetic learner and prefer to feel the shot.”

He was relieved when I told him this and we worked on his strength, which was tempo and feeling the shape of the shot. He won his first event that year.

So in putting what should be the last thought or image when over the ball?

If you are a visual performer predominately:

  • Seeing the line
  • Focusing on a spot on your line
  • Seeing the ball turn into the hole

If you are a feel or kinesthetic learner predominately:

  • Feeling the pace of the putt
  • Feeling the line
  • Focusing on tempo

Whatever you do, you only want ONE image or thought over the ball–and it needs to be positive and focused on the process!

When you worry about missing, you have a negative image in your mind and its all about the outcome!

Part of breaking the yips cycle includes:

You have to focus on the process of starting the ball on your line or with good pace, for example, not the outcome.

Focusing on outcome –> leads to anxiety and tension.

You have to train yourself to stop thinking about the negative outcome of missing or yipping another putt!

Related Golf Psychology Articles

Overcome The Yips and Enjoy Golf Again!

Breaking the Yips Cycle

Breaking The Yips Cycle Video and Workbook program is ideal for any amateur, collegiate, junior, and tour professional golfer who wants to break out of the putting, chipping, or pitching yips.

Golf coaches and instructors would also be wise to teach Breaking The Yips Cycle principles to their players who struggle with tension in their swing or the full-blown yips. This program is perfect for any golfer who wants to improve performance by swinging freely again!

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