Posted 25/09/2018 in Category 1 by Dr Paul McCarthy

What is perfect putting? Ask Tiger, Tom, Jack, Ben and Brad

What is perfect putting? Ask Tiger, Tom, Jack, Ben and Brad

We will be forever trying to unlock the secret to successful putting in golf. We all want to putt as if it doesn’t matter, when you know nothing else matters. But perhaps there is something in that last sentence. In his 2001 instructional book on golf, Tiger Woods explained that during his teenage years: “I had never seen a putt I didn’t like,” and, “under pressure, it seemed like I never missed”. These are clues about successful putting. First, Tiger enjoyed the challenge of every putt – yes, every putt. That means that nothing frightened him when he held the putter in his hands - a three-foot putt for par or a three-foot putt for a birdie seemed all the same. Research shows that we make more putts to save par than putts to make birdie (accounting for the same level of difficulty). Second, in Tiger’s memory, he recalled that under pressure he never seemed to miss. Now, he might have missed many putts under pressure but what he remembers is that he is “a great putter under pressure”. In other words, what he remembers most when he is under pressure is that he usually knocks these putts in the hole. Tiger has holed the putt in his mind before he steps up to ball. This same belief was shared by Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw and Brad Faxon when they were in their pomp. Their memories of putting under pressure had the sound of the ball hitting the bottom of the cup.


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