Sunday, March 6, 2011

Putting Out Of Your Mind

In Sport Psychologist Bob Rotella's book Putting Out Of Your Mind, he discusses techniques he teaches pros to help them get the best out of their putting.

Here are 10 of his top rules:

1) The putting game is the place to look if you want to get a competitive advantage.
2) In putting, the inability to forget is infinitely more devastating than the inability to remember. There is nothing worse for your putting than dwelling on putts you've missed.
3) Never putt to a three foot circle. If you aren't trying to hole every putt you have, you are going to lose to someone who is.
4) Good players handle pressure putts by developing a strong routine and relying on it in the clutch.
5) Good putters learn to welcome nervous symptoms rather than fear them.
6) Every putt is a green-light putt.
7) The yips originate in the mind. Their prevention and cure are mental challenges.
8) Pick a putting style that feels good to you and stick with it.
9) There is no such thing as perfect putting mechanics.
10) The principles of good putting will work for as long as your commitment to them stands.

A few drills he suggests:

1) Pick a straight putt on the practice green. Place a tee at three feet, five feet, and seven feet. Make three balls in a row at each distance until you make all nine. If you miss one, start over.
2) Choose a five foot putt with a decent amount of break. Using three balls, hit each one at a different speed to get a feel for the break. Hit one firm, one medium, and one slow.

* If you tend to miss a lot of four footers on the practice green, the problem is mechanics. If you make most of your four footers on the practice green but miss them on the course, the problem is mental.*