Putting is All in the Way You Look at It
Putting is by far the largest part of your golf score. It is also the first place you look when you are trying to cut a few stokes off of that score.
Putting is a simple endeavor that many people have complicated by confusing it with golf. There are really two ways to look at putting. Getting them confused is what causes most poor putting.
The first way to look at putting is that it is the act of making a stroke. A physical game that requires perfection. To those types of putters, the perfect stroke is the gold at the end of the rainbow.
It takes an enormous amount of practice to build a great putting stroke. The pros all have the time to build great putting strokes, so they tell you what can work if you are willing to make the sacrifice. Because they are professionals, the average guy seems to believe them.
The hapless golfers become so concerned with making the perfect Stan Utley stroke that they forget about making the putt. If they can only make the perfect stroke, they will make the putt. That may be true most of the time, but the thought makes it very difficult to produce that stroke. Especially if you only play on weekends.
The other way to look at putting is as a game, where your main focus is getting the ball in the hole, as opposed to making the physical stroke. There are only two things that are important in putting. Speed is King, followed closely by the line.
If you are worried about making a perfect stroke, you are not properly focused. You are getting in your own way by purposely taking your attention away from where it should be and focusing it in the worst possible place.
Think about when you play any other game where you are trying to hit a target. You never focus on technique when you are doing it. You don’t worry about where your arm is if you are throwing a ball to someone or at a target. You are focused on where you want the ball to go.
Putting is no different from any other target game. It is, however, vastly different from a tee shot or any other golf shot. You can choose to shoot for a perfect stroke or you can choose to focus more on what it takes to make the putt.
I have never had the chance to ask, but I would guarantee you that Tiger Woods doesn’t give his stroke a second thought when he is hitting one of those Bay Hill birdie putts. He programs the line and speed into his mind and the rest takes care of itself.