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It's just golf.  There's nothing to be nervous about.  Sure, you want to play well, but again, unless it's your job, it's just golf.  If you're really nervous, practice and get better.  Remember to have fun too.  

Read, bead, and speed, my man.  At home, I have a putting green mat (inexpensive strip from Amazon) and it allows me to work on bead and speed.

Like others have said, just hit a good putt and you'll be fine.  A whole easier to hit a solid putt than a long game shot.

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I read somewhere that Pros make 13% of putts from 10-15'; at 5' it's 55%. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a 6' putt. 

Practice 3' putts until you're solid with them. Then take 4 balls to the practice green and practice lag putting. Start at 10' and go to 30'. The goal being to get within 10% of the distance of your putt. If they go in, great putt. The goal is to have a virtual tap in for a second putt.

I think people think too much. 

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I only focus on what I can control. When I feel the nerves coming on, I repeat a mantra to myself over and over. It can be up to 50 times if it’s not my turn for a while

Head down, down the line

Head down, down the line

etc.

(down the line means to roll the ball down my imaginary target line.)

Anyway, at this point I’m focused only on doing an action- both help me hit a good putt 

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On 8/28/2020 at 10:17 PM, iacas said:

I watched a guy double-hit a putt once. First green, too.

I will from time to time hit a putt fat....no idea why

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2 minutes ago, colin007 said:

I will from time to time hit a putt fat....no idea why

Me too. I call it a scuff because I hit the green well behind the ball. The putts usually go way short.

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On 8/28/2020 at 5:49 AM, campbellj21 said:

Recent example, Wednesday I played in my work league (9 hole league) and shot a 46, I had two 3 putts and two 4 putts, I've was leaving almost every uphill putt way short and blasting almost every downhill putt way past.  Usually within a hole or two I'll start to dial in my feel for pace, but in this case it actually got worse through the round, both 3 putts and both 4 putts came in 4 of the last 5 holes.

  

I think you putted like a fool that day because you likely were trying to impress your co-workers.

Most other people don't care what you shoot nor especially care what kind of putter you are.

Just relax and have fun.

IMO...the only time that you might be nervous is playing in a tournament or gambling....the higher the stakes... the more nervous you might be....especially if you're afraid of losing.

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

Me too. I call it a scuff because I hit the green well behind the ball. The putts usually go way short.

Yeah that's exactly what it is, it's not like I'm stubbing the ground and the putter stops, but it still takes a ton of momentum out of the swing.

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On 8/28/2020 at 11:58 AM, Carl3 said:

I would say "preparation". I don't think there are easy solutions to calm yourself down. You are most likely anxious in the situation because you want to do well with your new playing companions and you are not confident of the outcome of the putt. 

Putting practice is easy. Learn as much as you can. My new course has challenged me and I have started to get good at observing the grain. Practice with purpose as they say. There is a guy on here @JuanTheGolfer who wrote a book that I bought last summer when I want to improve my putting. It is intense and I did not get through all of the routines, but I am a better putter. 

Most of the time I look forward to stroking the putt as I am more confident now. When I am rushed and do not spend more than 5 minutes on the putting green before a round, I get nervous as I know that the speed is somewhat unknown to me. It is a great feeling to be looking at a 15 to 25 foot birdie put that has a chance of going in. However if you know that it could be a possible 3 putt due to inadequate preparation, then that is nerve-racking.

IMG_0621.jpg

Thanks for the kind words, and you are absolutely right it is intense!! :-)  150 plus drills, an assessment, multiple ways to determine your strengths/areas to improve, how to set up practice plans, etc. etc. 

I have been using the book as a base to help two college golf teams improve their performance on the green... building weekly assessments and practice plans, the ideas and drills are part of an online training program for juniors, help a couple of teaching professionals with practice ideas, .. so just pull from it what you need and how much time you are willing to invest in getting better on the greens.

Thanks again.
  

Edited by JuanTheGolfer

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On 9/8/2020 at 8:22 PM, Mr22putt said:

IMO...the only time that you might be nervous is playing in a tournament or gambling....the higher the stakes... the more nervous you might be....especially if you're afraid of losing.

I can't speak for others but I also get a nervous when I put undue pressure upon myself.

For example, let's say I've been chipping and pitching a lot because I'm having a bad day ball-striking (like every round I play) and I'm leaving myself some longish puts and I'm successful in lagging it up to the hole and leaving myself a putt of less than 3'.   Then, when I hit a GIR, I'll put pressure on myself to lag it up like I've been doing all round and make par and rather than do that, I'll leave it short or long and, at least, leave myself a 6' putt.

I must learn when I start putting that pressure on myself to step away, calm down, and shake it off. 

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On 9/22/2020 at 10:01 AM, RFKFREAK said:

I must learn when I start putting that pressure on myself to step away, calm down, and shake it off. 

Or drink 6 beers before you hit the 4th tee block....you'll be putting pressure free the rest of the rd...just sayin.☺️

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7 hours ago, Mr22putt said:

Or drink 6 beers before you hit the 4th tee block....you'll be putting pressure free the rest of the rd...just sayin.☺️

I'm more of a White Claw, vodka and club soda kind of guy but you make good points. :-$

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On 8/28/2020 at 8:49 AM, campbellj21 said:

Lately I've been struggling with what could probably be described as the "yips" while putting.  When I'm playing by myself, or just my girlfriend and I, or on the practice green I feel like my putting is pretty solid; I have a good feel for the pace and I take my time lining up the put and usually average less than a 2 putt for the round.  However, the last few times I've played with either strangers or casual acquaintances I've completely lost my feel for pace and I find myself rushing through my process of lining up the putt.  Recent example, Wednesday I played in my work league (9 hole league) and shot a 46, I had two 3 putts and two 4 putts, I've was leaving almost every uphill putt way short and blasting almost every downhill putt way past.  Usually within a hole or two I'll start to dial in my feel for pace, but in this case it actually got worse through the round, both 3 putts and both 4 putts came in 4 of the last 5 holes.

For those of you who have dealt with similar situations or have helped others with these problems, what are some of the calming/focusing techniques and tips you've used that have helped?  Other than only playing golf by myself or with my girlfriend Lol.   

I try not to overthink a putt. It is hard to do and takes a lot of practice. On my longer putts, say 20 feet or so, I don't try to make it. Ipick out a line in general, take a practice stroke or two, and just try to get it around the hole close enough to insure a two putt. In doing so it seems like sometimes just trying to get it close, some of those putts fall in.

 I have studied putting a lot of years and have noticed if you clear your mind, and try not to think that if you make the putt that you will break 40, that you have a better chance of making it.

 I have also noticed that most people that have a four foot putt to make for a par, or a birdie is different. If they are putting for a birdie it seems like they are more defensive, and are more worried about possibly three putting it than one putting.

 Clearing your mind to stroke a putt is difficult. Takes a lot of practice. I probably spend 40% of my practice time putting. 60% of that time making three to four footers. During my round I normally do not miss anything within 4 foot. It does happen, but when it does I just move on and try not to think as to why I missed it.

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1. Read the putt
2. Start to figure out the pace
3. Line up to the putt
4. Hit the putt with the pace on your target line

There isn't much there to overthink. 

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Hi guys, I've written a book on this subject (I had the yips for 2 decades). 29,000 words and 130 pages, but here is my best summary:

  1. Identify exactly what your yip is. In most cases it's the wrist of your dominant (right) hand misbehaving
  2. Choose a radically new grip (you need a radical change to reset things) which limits the movement of your problem hand. e.g. If it's your right wrist like me, consider the claw or pencil grip. There are many alternative grips, but just make sure you use one that removes your problem area's ability to get involved. It may feel weird but you'll get used to it.
  3. Choose a putter that will limit the effects of a yip. Typically, that means something high MOI, slightly heavier, maybe counterbalanced, probably face-balanced, probably a mallet rather than a blade. Consider armlock putting too.
  4. Develop a consistent, automatic routine that has no pauses, no opportunity for your conscious brain to get involved.
  5. Think only of your target when you're on the course (not easy)
  6. Play like you're a kid and you don't care (this is the hardest bit!)
  7. Yippers are hesitant and negative. Be positive: When you practice putting, play games that force you to hit the ball past the hole
  8. Acceptance: Loads of good putts miss. Most tour pros miss most of their putts. It's normal. Rate yourself only on whether you made a decent stroke and stuck to your routine, not on whether you holed the putt
  9. Yips occur at impact, not on the backswing. Yippers flinch at impact. There are several techniques to minimise impact; routine, looking at the hole, closing your eyes, imagining your target in your head, focussing on where the clubhead should be at the end of the stroke....

I think these are the main issues. I went from a middle-aged 5 handicapper who hated putting and considered giving up golf, to a plus handicapper who played in (British) Open Championship Final Qualifying in 2017. It's possible to eradicate the yips from your game, but the best way is to combine as many of the above techniques as possible. It's dangerous to be dependent on a single fix. I hope this helps a little.

 

 

Edited by iacas
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Hi Erik

I agree with you. There's some disagreement amongst the scientists, but I think the yips is a form of focal dystonia  i.e. the pathway of nerves between your brain and your fingers has stopped working properly, kind of burnt out. The best way to fix it is to create a new pathway using a different grip. However, as we all know, the yips produce a lot of mental scarring too and we have to deal with that as well. That's why I think the right approach is belt and braces ; solve the physical problem of focal dystonia with a new grip, and then read Bob Rotella to sort out your brain!

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I am no scientist but IMHO yips are similar to a beginner skier going down a steeper slope than what their comfort level is. It is not a condition as much as it is a phenomenon. Combination of panic and indecision. I can't simply tell myself to not care as much as I care.

There is no 'mental solution'. You just have to find a comfort level by practicing the shit out of it. If you can make a full swing without hitching you can putt too. 

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