During my recent successes on the links, I have one real failing. It might not seem like much because of my low scores, but I cannot believe the challenges I am having on the greens. Before you roll your eyes, you must know by now that I am always trying to take advantage of every ounce of possibilities so I can shoot the lowest score. At this time, my putting is causing me some angst and I know exactly why!Continue reading
How melodramatic of me to think that this early in the season I need to worry about my putting. During my last round, I only putted 29 times with no 3 putts. But that was not the good news that I need to embrace moving forward. What has me excited is that my touch returning. You know, that feeling in our hands, shoulders, and swinging motion that allows us to make great judgement calls on the green. Regardless of how long the putt, when my touch is on I feel I can sink a putt every time. There is no doubt that having my touch back is a great sign for my golf game.Continue reading
As a golfer, finding tips that work all the time is a challenge. Finding putting tips that work for my mental and physical game is a treasure. After my 36 putts from the first round of the year (three days ago) I decided to see if I was missing something on the greens that needed fixing. Well the short answer is yes and no!Continue reading
Preventing a three putt is very important to lower golf scores. The farther from the hole, in most cases, the greater chances of missing the hole. This is a known fact that has not changed since the inception of golf. If distance putts are so critical to our game, I often wondered how players judge the distance of their putt to ensure that that next stroke is as short as possible. I know how I judge distances when putting, but I do you?Continue reading
Do I really need to define the phrase ‘putting yips’? I am certain that every golfer has played through a period of the putting yips. The lack of confidence before even striking the ball definitely contributes to our flat stick woes. We sometimes get to a point where we feel it is impossible to fix this challenge. I am here to say that it is possible to eliminate the putting yips by finding the solution that works best for you. Today, I have one that might work for your game, so keep reading and let me know what you think.!–more–>
“The yips is the colloquial term for a sudden and unexplained loss of skills in experienced athletes. Symptoms of the yips are losing fine motor skills and psychological issues that impact on the muscle memory and decision making of the player which creates a failure to perform basic skills of the sport.” (Wikipedia)
First, I believe that all yips are rooted in our mental preparation for any shot. The lack of confidence and defeatist attitude before even striking the ball leads to a case of the “cant’s”. This negative step in turn leads to a breakdown in our game and failure to confidently hit the golf. Therefore, when I get a case of the yips, I focus on improving my mental approach and focus to each shot. In the video below, the advice given by Johnny Miller is very good and something I do inadvertently. Take a look:
By focusing on something other than the contact spot on the ball, you mind is forced to forget about many aspects of the yips and lets your putting stroke take over. Yes, hitting the ball or at least contact with the ball will our putter should be automatic. This excludes any swing thoughts. Thinking during the actual swing is not a good idea; we must let our natural putting stroke take over after we committed to the shot.
For me, I focus on the top of my putter. I am not an advocate of not seeing contact (old school training from other sports), but I do allow my mind to focus on something other than the plethora of stressors involved in putting the ball. By focusing on the alignment line on top of my putter, I force my mind to exclude all other swing thoughts. This helps reduce the putting yips because I am mentally focused on something other than my putting stroke; I allow my natural swing to take over. For me, this mental focus helps improve my putting by reducing the 1000 swing thoughts that can occur in an instant during contact.
There is no one solution to defeating the putting yips. The solution mentioned in the video above has many variations. The point is to allow your natural putting stroke take over the process of putting. This is definitely easier to say than do; just ask any player struggling with the putting yips. Regardless, I believe that the root of this terrible affliction is rooted in our mental approach to each shot and that is where I focus my efforts when I consistently struggle with puttting or any other golf shot.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!