The Mental Game :(

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By Darius V

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  • 6 Replies
  1. Darius V
    Barrie, ON

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    I play with a Scotty Cameron GoLo5 Putter, and I absolutely love it. (Normally)

    Last weekend we had our Club Championship and the weather was beautiful, the course was in great shape, and the company out on the course was great.

    My game on the other hand was something else :).

    Since I got my Scotty, my average putts per round has been between 32 and 34 which is a great number for me given I do not hit close to a lot of pins when playing from the back tees.

    On Saturday I had a total of 42 putts and put myself 20 strokes out of first place. Okay then - that means the stress and pressure is off and I should be able to putt well on Sunday. Well, maybe not ! I missed at least three putts from 2 feet for a total of 39 putts for the round !!!!

    So - is it stress or just poor form ? On Monday I went out and had only 29 putts for the round and on Wednesday I struggled a bit more, but still only have 34 putts for the round :)

    Obviously there is nothing wrong with the putter nor is there anything wrong with my hand/eye coordination. The problem lies between the ears !!!!

    Has anyone found a way to scuttle those tournament demons and get the arms flowing more smoothly when you NEED to make that putt (or putts) ??? My issue seems not to be on the longer putts as the putting stroke flows freely on those ones. It is the 4 footers or less where you stand there knowing you should make it where I just cannot seem to keep the stroke smooth. I do not want to use the term starting with Y, but.....

  2. FJL
    Kitchener, ON

    0 Posts

    Darius... we never lose in this game, we just learn. Perhaps you had a bad tournament because you just got off on the wrong foot or someone rubbed you the wrong way, just saying! You'll bounce back because you know you do this number of putts every day you play.

  3. Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    0 Posts

    Hi Darius,

    I am very sorry to hear what transpired with your putting game last weekend.

    Regarding the putting, I don't think its anything to do with the "Yips" ... in fact, I would suggest that there is either one or two things occurring.

    1. Your stroke is breaking down somewhere. Perhaps seek out a pair of "knowledgeable" eyes that you trust and have them watch your putting stroke to ensure that everything is moving smoothly as you intend it;

    2. You are not reading the line of your putts properly or missing out with the proper "pace" on your putts. Again, perhaps have someone that you trust go with you and run some tests on your reading of the greens, etc.

    A good drill just before you get on the tee box is to set a tee down on the practice green some 3 feet away from a hole. Then take 3 golf balls and putt to the hole from there. Focus on your stroke, pace, etc. The goal is to sink 9 putts in a row (some say 10). The idea is for you to get confident with your stroke so that you groove it for that round.

    This is a drill that Jack Nicklaus preached. He often said that it was important to him to make the 3-4 foot putts routine and this pre-game drill left him feeling confident after sinking 10 in a row. It is attributed to Jack that he often stated that seeing that a many putts sink left him with a good feeling heading to the tee.

    Anyway, for what its worth Darius, I hope that you find something helpful or useful in this! And, I know that you will get back on track soon!
  4. Brad m
    New Hamburg, ON

    0 Posts

    Hi Darius,

    Sorry to hear that your putter let you down.
    I find if I am missing putts it means I don't have the speed of the greens. For short putts, if they are not going in then I am looking up before I hit the ball. Easily solved, I don't move until it hits the bottom of the cup, or time goes by and I don't hear anything.
    The other thing I do is keep talking to myself to ensure that I do not decelerate through impact. I tell myself, "No" as it is going back, and, "Fear" as I follow through.
  5. Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    0 Posts

    Good comments from all... I was once again putting very well today as we played a "friendly" game out there for a basket of fries. I had 4 one putts from around four to five feet. It seems like I only struggle on the Championship weekend.

    Dino - your drill of sinking 10 in a row while practicing is one I will certainly try. I agree it will help build confidence so that I am hopefully thinking of them like a tap in rather than as a putt.

    Brad - I hear you about talking to yourself, I was talking to myself that weekend, only I was not liking the discussion :)

    No question that for me it is a change in attitude during a championship round rather than a regular round of golf. The good news is that I have a whole year to get my mind grooved.
  6. PAZTOR
    Tillsonburg, ON

    0 Posts

    Putting woos are all too familiar. One day I can drain everything from 8ft in and others they burn the edge or lip out. This game can be very frustrating, but its the days that we play well that keep us coming back for more.
  7. Brad m
    New Hamburg, ON

    0 Posts

    Another thing that might help, is go play a course with faster greens than your home course. Fundamentals have to be perfect on fast greens, and then you can carry that forward on normal greens.
    I played Brantford Country Club on Monday. Greens were probably 13, faster than anything I have ever played. You have to be on the right line from the beginning, or you don't have a chance. Unfortunately, I was 5 over on the par 3's, where I usually make my living. Went to a slower course yesterday, and made everything.

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