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vmsea

Putting routine/question

5 posts in this topic

Usually i warm up before a round, i get a feel for the green speed, get quite technical on how much take away/follow through i want on 10ft, 20ft, 30ft, 40ft etc..  but in the end i still have poor putts.

this past weekend played back to back days, both were a bit rushed (due to road detours, or early tee time).. anyhow no time to warm up.. rolled maybe 5 balls..  On the green, just stared at the hole a bit, and went with feel for the putts.. somehow made consistently 4fts, and lagged 10ft+ consistently to within 3-4ft..

I haven't practiced or suddently gotten better.. how did putting become so much more consistent without the mental mechanical thoughts?

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Paralysis by analysis comes to mind.

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Originally Posted by vmsea

Usually i warm up before a round, i get a feel for the green speed, get quite technical on how much take away/follow through i want on 10ft, 20ft, 30ft, 40ft etc..  but in the end i still have poor putts.

this past weekend played back to back days, both were a bit rushed (due to road detours, or early tee time).. anyhow no time to warm up.. rolled maybe 5 balls..  On the green, just stared at the hole a bit, and went with feel for the putts.. somehow made consistently 4fts, and lagged 10ft+ consistently to within 3-4ft..

I haven't practiced or suddently gotten better.. how did putting become so much more consistent without the mental mechanical thoughts?

Originally Posted by TJBam

Paralysis by analysis comes to mind.

Bingo!  Putting is a feel skill.  Too much is dependent on just feeling the distance and mentally adjusting for slope.  I've never met a mechanical player who I couldn't out putt.

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about a putt.  I make my read from behind the ball, pick the spot on the the line for my aiming point, I take one practice stroke while looking at that spot, then I address the ball.  The last thing I do before I stroke a putt is look at the hole, then follow the line with my eyes from there back to the ball.  That sets the "feel" in my head, and I just go with it.  It takes longer to read that than it does for me to actually do it.

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I hope I'm not mis-quoting, but I remember reading Jack Nicklaus saying he really just focused on the feel/speed of putts when he was warming up for a round. He didn't really worry about making warm up putts other than a few from 4 ft and in. I think I read it in his Golf My Way book... But you may want to read it for yourself for his exact words.
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I never practice putting at a hole, and I never will.

I practice putting down a chalk line and/or practice putting at a dime.

On the course the last time I look at the hole is when I'm standing behind the ball picking an intermediate spot within a foot or two of the ball. At that point I am judging the speed and distance in my mind. After that I am not even aware that there is a hole. My only goal is to make the best roll I can make over my intermediate spot.

My favorite practice is to roll 4 balls with lines around them down a chalk line about 8 feet long trying to make each ball stop against the previous ball until all 4 balls are on the chalk line and touching each other, with the lines around all 4 balls on the chalk line.

The line around each ball must roll down the chalk line with no wobble.

When I have been practicing as much as I should I can actually "see" the chalk line (that's not really there) on the course.

Which reminds me. I need to practice putting tonight. I haven't practiced in a while and I didn't roll the ball very well Saturday for the first time in a long time.

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