Enjoying the Task of Putting- Dr. Bob Winters

"Enjoying the Task of Putting"

Dr. Bob Winters

Hurricane Golf Tour  - Article #2

This is the second article in a six-part series created for the golfers of the Hurricane Tour to improve their putting and tournament readiness.  In this article, I discuss an emotional quality that all great putters possess when they are not making putts so that they can turn it around and start to have success.   Ask Yourself:  Do You Give a Great Effort into Every Putt? Great putters make all kinds of putts with all kinds of stances, stroke styles and posture adaptions.  Even with all of these differing elements, they still seem to make putts.   Many don’t possess the purest stroke but their ball seems to find its way into the hole anyway.  I am sure that you have seen this in your young career.  What separates the consistently great putters from the streaky putters is their ability to give a great effort into every putt regardless of whether their last putt went into the hole or not!  This means that failure and missing putts does not affect a great putter’s attitude and does not diminish their inner belief that they will make putts in the future.  In essence, great putters remain unaffected by missing. Patience, persistence and passion are three emotional ingredients necessary for you to be a putting genius. When I discuss putting with young players, one of the first things that they tell me is that when they make putts, they feel confident in their putting ability.  However, when they miss a few they begin to have doubt.  This doubt causes them to re- think their stroke and second-guess their decision making.  The doubt affects their ability to trust what they have seen in their putting-line reads.  The frustration from missing and the despair about their putting confidence causes them to become discouraged and downhearted.  Before they know it, all of their putting confidence is gone!  Does this sound familiar to you!  If it does, then here are some specific suggestions that I have for you to get yourself back on track and start to make putts consistently. As I stated in our last article, the first characteristic that great putters have is that they keep their process simple.  The second principle is that great putters enjoy the task of putting.  

The six mental characteristics of great putters are:

 

1. Great putters keep putting simple

2.   Great putters enjoy the task of putting 3.   Great putters trust

  1. Great putters know that it’s OK to miss!

5.   Great putters have patience

  1. Great putters have confidence

  Mental Key # 2.   Great putters enjoy the task of putting Whether the ball goes into the hole or not, the ultimate questions that you have to ask yourself after stroking your ball and watching the result are: Did I give a great effort into that stroke? Did I stick to my initial read and hit my putt solid? Did I step into the putt believing that I was going to make it?  Did I stick to my routine and adhere to my putting process? Did I put more energy into the putt being made versus missing? If you did not answer YES to every one of these questions, then you are not as committed to the task of putting as you need to be in order to develop your total putting talent.  Here are some things to help you develop a putting genius mindset.   TIPS FOR HELPING YOU ENJOY THE PUTTING PROCESS!1.     

Give a great effort into every putt! This means that you control the effort that you muster forth into every putt that you stroke. If your energy level and commitment is not 100% percent into this putt….you are simply going through the motions.  Get yourself excited about the prospect of holing this putt.  As Jack Nicklaus once said “putt like you want the ball to go in….putt like someone who wants to make it!”  The energy you put into the putt is reflected in the result. 2.      Stick to your initial read and hit the ball solid!

By adhering to your read of the putt and stepping into the ball with a decisive plan about how you want to hit it, the next step is to focus on hitting your ball squarely. All great putters discuss the notion of not changing your mind about your read over the putt and proceeding to hit the putt solidly. This is sage advice and will help you make more putts immediately. 3.       Step into the putt believing that it will go in!

Action follows thought.  Stepping into your putt with the belief that the ball is going to go in pre-sets a positive and confident feeling when you step into the ball.  Anything less than this type of mindset will foster negative feelings and anxiety.  Step in and stroke your putt with a focus for success!  If you have doubt, step away and re-commit to a successful procedure. 4.      Adhere to your putting routine

When a player follows a structured and orderly routine, he or she is providing a foundation for focus and flow.  When a player gets out of the automaticity of that routine and starts to think about what the putt is worth or how much value it has, it is taking away from the functionality of the routine.  Forget about the result of the putt or what it means and follow the procedure to roll your ball into the hole!  That is what you ultimately control…your process and your routine! 5.      Put your energy into success….not missing!

When players focus on the task of staying into this moment and giving all of their energy into making this putt, the results are generally positive.  If you are going to miss a putt, at least miss it while trying to make it!  Having an attitude of fearless putting is the greatest strategy of getting through the doubt and fear. 6.       Pull something positive out of every putt!

This simply means that even if the ball doesn’t fall into the hole, pull something good out of your procedure.  If you do miss, pull something good out of your stroke such as:  The read of your line, the ability to hit it squarely, the initial roll of the ball and the good speed that the ball had as it approached the hole.  All of these things are building blocks for this putt and for future putts.  When you can accept that missing is a part of putting and learn something from your missed attempt is when you can get into your next putt with positive enthusiasm for success on that putt!   A Final Word I think we are in total agreement that making putts is a lot more fun than missing.  No one likes missing. However, great putters also know that missing is a real aspect of putting.  The one thing that helps a golfer to become and remain a great putter is controlling what you want to think and feel when you step into your next putt.  It is imperative that you control your attitude and remain excited about the task of putting. Regardless of whether the ball goes into the hole or not, you must always strive to keep your attitude positive and enjoy the make or miss aspect of the most delicate stroke in golf.  Forget your past results and remind yourself that this new putt is the one that gets you going!   Once you embrace the notion that staying patient and enjoying all aspects of putting is the day that you start to see success on the green! If you like this article and feel that you could benefit from working with me one on one, please contact me at:  Dr. Bob Winters    407-340-7785 or email me at drbob@drbobwinters.com or visit my website at www.drbobwinters.com.  I look forward to helping you get into the winner’s circle and maximize your talent!    I will see you on the green!

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