Jump to content

Putting - Negative Thoughts


Emmitsburg
 Share

Recommended Posts

I like the comments above about positive thoughts.  I practice 2 - 8 foot putts in my living room on a putting mat.  When faced with a similar putt on the course, I picture myself in my living room draining the same length putt.  Positive mental imagery works for me.  

  • Like 1

Ping G425 Max 9° w/Ventus Velocore Blue-5S

Ping G410 3 wood 16° w/Ventus Velocore Blue-6R tipped 1"

PXG 0211 19.5° 7 wood w/Project X Evenflow Riptide CB 40 5.0

Callaway Rogue 19° hybrid regular

PXG Gen 3 0311XF 5 - G steel regular

Corey Paul wedges bent to 53° and 58°

Taylormade Spider X putter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in the same boat, putting was my worst part of my game for 35 years. First I studied putting, by reading several books on it, then practiced what they taught. Second I got fitted for an 'Arm Lock' putter, because I had a hard time keeping the putter face from changing alignment during the stroke with standard putters. Third is I changed my mind set from, "I hope this stops close if it does not go in", to "I am going to make this"!  This helped to reduce or eliminate the fear of missing a putt and having a 4 to 5 footer left. Funny thing is, even if I missed, the putt was still usually within tap in range.

Because of my poor putting in the past, during best ball tournaments I was always putting first in order to give the other players the line. After the three changes above, I was still putting first, but was holing almost everything (including 20 foot breaking putts).

Putting, like most golf, is a game of confidence, and sometimes you have to fake it until you make it!

1023488378_BrianPBigham.JPG.42ede97264d0c09f186c43ed094a1a29.JPG

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Korban61 said:

I was in the same boat, putting was my worst part of my game for 35 years. First I studied putting, by reading several books on it, then practiced what they taught. Second I got fitted for an 'Arm Lock' putter, because I had a hard time keeping the putter face from changing alignment during the stroke with standard putters. Third is I changed my mind set from, "I hope this stops close if it does not go in", to "I am going to make this"!  This helped to reduce or eliminate the fear of missing a putt and having a 4 to 5 footer left. Funny thing is, even if I missed, the putt was still usually within tap in range.

Because of my poor putting in the past, during best ball tournaments I was always putting first in order to give the other players the line. After the three changes above, I was still putting first, but was holing almost everything (including 20 foot breaking putts).

Putting, like most golf, is a game of confidence, and sometimes you have to fake it until you make it!

Jack Nicklaus, a.k.a "The Golden Bear", is widely regarded as the greatest professional golfer ...

  • Like 1

1023488378_BrianPBigham.JPG.42ede97264d0c09f186c43ed094a1a29.JPG

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Famous football coach Tom Landry of Dallas Cowboys used positive image motivation, telling his kicker you are going to put it right thru the middle.  Or you are going to make the first down.

 

Personally, be glad you are alive and healthy and playing. Look at each putt as a chance to show yourself how good you are.  Get fitted, work as Nicklaus says, and another personal but unprovable, I think urethane rolls better than 2 piece surlyn/ionomer.

Driver  Callaway Epic on Recoil F2 (senior) flex

Three wood is TM Burner Superfast 3.0 on M (mature) flex

3H Old Adams A3OS red boxster on stock Graffaloy Platinum reg shaft

3 MP 18 MMC and 4 GFF hybrid Mizuno irons

5 Mizu hybrid Fli-hi

6 - W Ping I 500 irons on Recoil F3 reg flex shafts

Wedges:  Mizuno blue 52 09, 60 06, and old original Hogan Sure-out 56 14 sand

Chipper (yep I carry a chipper) old Don Martin Up n In bronze 

Putter Musty wood mallet, sometimes switch with my Scotty Cameron Futura X counter weight face balanced

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 2:01 PM, Emmitsburg said:

Have been playing for over 40 years. Putting has always been the weakest part of my game. Back in the day, when I was a mid-single handicaper I could shoot mid 70's with no birdies. Have tried all aids. I start out every round with a positive attitude. Roll putts very well on practice green. Get on the course and 40 years of negative thoughts cause constant missed opportunities. I keep track of the "reasonable" putts that could/should have dropped. Count them up and take 50% of those as not all can be expected to go in. At the end of the round I come up with easily 2-4 strokes lost due to putting. Any suggestions of how to get 40+ years of demons out of my head?!?!?

Sounds a lot like me.  I have come to the conclusion that 90% of my problem is the read.  If you can figure out that your stroke gets you on the line then it's about speed and line, speed being most important IMO.  I like to die them in the hole so when I miss I don't have much left coming back.  Maybe I'm not aggressive enough...😱

 

It helps when you hit it closer, too.  So you always have to be inspecting your wedge game.

Edited by 6 Million Dollar Man
  • Like 1

:PXG: GEN 4 Driver 0811 X

:PXG:0211 3 & 5 Fairway Woods 

:mizuno-small:  Mizuno Hot Metal JPC 921 Irons

:PXG:0311 Wedges--56° & 60°

1937606363_Screenshot2022-11-1321.28.32. Blade Putter

Maxfli Tour Golf Ball

🇺🇸

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you can see, I'm a high handicap largely due to poor approach shots, but I'm working on it.  Lately, I've used the sight lines on the golf ball to line up the shot and once I've decided it's ideal, I don't look at the hole again, but instead focus on the putting stroke, and speed it imparts.  It has taken about four strokes off my score in the last few months, and I'll use it on putts of about 20 feet and under.  Beyond that, I'll hide the markings, and try to roll the ball within a foot or two of the hole.  I've had the greatest success with the Pro V1 as it has excellent roll, and the Chrome Soft Triple Track due to it's alignment stripes.  I've also traced triple track lines on my Odessey two ball putter to really line up the putt.  It's been working for me but YMMV.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/30/2022 at 7:46 AM, FmrCaddie13 said:

What do you define as bad putting? Played to vanilla perfection hitting 100% GIR leads to even par with 36 putts. If you are 36 putts or under per round, give yourself some slack. So many players put pressure on their short game because putts inside 10 feet seem like they should be easier but the added pressure to make a putt to save par or make a birdie to make up for a previous bogey makes them even harder. Set 36 or under as a putting goal for a month and see if you attitude changes. I'm a 9 HDCP and average 29 putts per round. Obvious with "7 under" on putts I'm dropping shots elsewhere putt I know the pressure and frustration on days the putts aren't dropping. If I end round with 34-35 putts it's still the other shots failing me and often putting me in positions on the green where making 1 putts is not a reasonable expectation.

I don't think total putts is a really good statistic, its really dependent on a bunch of non-putting factors.  Still, its an easily kept stat, and really common to look at.  Here's a bit of data to compare to, compiled by Shotscope and presented in MGS:

https://mygolfspy.com/shot-scope-case-study/

For the OP, as a 10-handicap, something like 31 putts per round is typical.  The interesting thing for the OP is further down the article, "Make Percentage by Distance".  The range from 6 to 18 feet might be considered "Makeable".  10-handicappers average only 24% from that range, yet he's thinking he should make 50% of his "makeable" putts.  Even 5 handicappers average only 29%.  

  • Like 3

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can relate to the OP. My handicap has typically ranged between 4-6. As a kid who played almost daily, putting was a strength. As a working adult, weekend warrior who played an average of 50 times per year, my putting gradually became a real weakness. I could putt just fine (normal) on the practice green, but never really "worked" on my putting. So in matches, my poor putting usually showed up. Even though I knew my mis-hits were out on the toe, that's where I would hit most of my putts during a match.

I moved to a golf course community 10 months ago and started really working on my putting. Multiple nights per week, I hit the practice green for sometimes as much as 2 hours. I found working on 4-10 footers that break left to right or right to left, was the most efficient practice for me. It forced me to get the line and the speed just right, and that means stroking the ball in a consistent manner. I'll always do a bunch of difficult lag putts as well.

And I work on my chipping, trying to keep my lead arm staight and producing a similar tempo to my putting.

Only through all this "work", have I seen my short game improve. Its almost as if I've re-wired my brain. As others have said, it is about confidence, trusting your stroke, and having a consistent process. I've read all the "confidence" books, but nothing has worked as well for me as disciplined practice.

Before a round, I do a condensed version of my short game practice, usually for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes that means I'm only hitting 10-20 full warmup shots. 

Do I still freak out about 2-5 footers? At times, for sure. I can freeze. Still a lot of scar tissue. But I'm making most of them now. On 8-20 footers, I now feel like I have a decent chance to make them instead of worrying about not 3 putting. Results have led to more 1 putts (and birdies) and fewer 3 putts.

The results have encouraged me to think I can do even better.

  • Like 1

TM M3 Driver, Titleist 917 4 wood, Mavrik 20* Hybrid, Cobra King TEC (Black)  4-GW with TT AMT (Black) shafts, Titleist 54* and 58* wedges, Odyssey #7 O-Works putter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, MacAndrews said:

Only through all this "work", have I seen my short game improve. Its almost as if I've re-wired my brain. As others have said, it is about confidence, trusting your stroke, and having a consistent process. I've read all the "confidence" books, but nothing has worked as well for me as disciplined practice.

I agree with the best way to become confident is through past success.  Good practice habits ingrain success, they give you a basis to be confident.  You may not be truly confident that you'll make a specific putt, but you CAN be confident you'll hit your intended line, and get your speed about the way you want it.

  • Like 2

:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think my putting is by far the best part of my game . I always think positive ,I pick my line  and a spot on the green that will be the point that lines up with the pin taking in the fact it may turn due to slope  and accounting for that so it follows the contour to the pin. A must is to decide the speed it will need to be to get there. (with the grain or against the grain)!!!!!! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A former world number one said:

"You must always look forward to the challenge…of the next putt.

Putts can miss for a lot of reasons…so you have to set other standards for great putting – following your routine, observing your practice habits, maintaining your attitude."

Even Tiger has spoken about just 'putting a good roll on the ball' as his goal and then just seeing whether the ball goes in or not.

Take care to define positive and negative in these terms and you'll no doubt have a lot less scar tissue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lot of layers to this. I will stick with mental as much as possible. I won't dwell on why you miss (speed or read or stroke mechanics) or if your misses are big or small.

Start with reasonable expectations and build with positive visualizations. Might take a couple months to retrain your brain and a couple years to fully be there.

I can make a good putting stroke. I can improve my putting results.

 

All below stats are rounded for simplicity....

If you make 6 of 8 @ 4ft, you are normal. You are not a pro.who makes 7.

If you make 2 of 8 @ 8-10ft you are actually good. Pros only make 3 of 8.

Beyond 12-15ft, 1 is normal. Pros only make 2 of 10.

https://golf.com/instruction/putting/pga-tour-putting-make-percentages-distance/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get fitted. Use a putting mirror aid for short putt training. Visualize the line, and follow through on all putts. Make sure you know your ideal ball set up. Put a tee on the ground on the putting green on a straight, flat 10 foot putt. Without looking up, hit 10 putts. Where do they go? Left of the line, right of the line? If they tend to go left or right, then reposition the ball in your setup to adjust for your visual imperfection. It works. And other comments here about the process and not the outcome are spot on. Lots of good putts just don't go in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday I spent almost 2 hours on the practice green and the biggest revelation was that I must have been peeking on short putts, leading to my frustration of late. So, once I kept my head down and just listened for the ball and I go in, I made almost all of them. 
… key word: almost. 

Driver: Ping 425 Max; Rogue White 70

3 Wood: Ping 410; Mitsubishi Tensei Orange

7 Wood: Callaway Steelhead

3, 5-7 Irons: Callaway Apex 19

8-AW Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 19

Wedges: Titleist 53 degree, Callaway MD4 58 X Grind 

Putter: Odyssey 10 Tour Lined; Seemore Z2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 2:01 PM, Emmitsburg said:

At the end of the round I come up with easily 2-4 strokes lost due to putting. Any suggestions of how to get 40+ years of demons out of my head?!?!?

I will just add my two cents.  Many good comments.  Dave P  is right pros 50/50 distance is 8'.  By the time we get to 20 feet make percentage is less than 10 %.  My one putt percentage is less than 10% on everything over 13 feet.  So don't put too much pressure on yourself about what you, "should" or "expect" to make.  Get a putting mat and practice with it as much as you can.  I began to practice with mine late last year.  It will help greatly with grooving a putting stroke on putts, ones you can actually make more of, those in the less than 8 foot range. I have 6 balls on mine.  I practice 6 putts from each distance from 3'-11', 48 putts takes me about 15 minutes to complete, I try to do it 3-5 times a week (especially in the winter her in Ohio). (Speed of greens/ or mat is just always something you have to adjust to)

Lastly I began to QUICKLY pace off the distance of my putts.  I believe it helps me to with a little more instinct know how hard to swing if I know that the putt is 15' and not 18 feet.  I equated my putting to basketball.  How did I know how much much momentum to put behind my jump shot, the lines on the basketball court gave me an instant visual reference, for how long of a jump shot I was attempting, and the amount of force necessary was calculated, instinctively based on these visual cues.  There are no visual cues on a putting green.  I have found that my distance control has improved greatly knowing the distance of my putts.  Now even though I DON'T EXPECT TO MAKE MANY OVER 10 FEET.   My mindset on these is going to change, after reading a post on another thread.   I'm no longer going to think, JUST DON'T 3 PUTT.   I'm going to think, I am a good enough putter not to 3 putt, I'm going to try and make them, and not just lag  17 footers to avoid 3 putting, but comforable with the knowledge that realistically not many are going to go in.  But maybe the more positive outlook will help me make a few more in the 10-20 foots.

Just some things that have helped me be a better putter, from a similar handicap

Driver: Cobra King Speedzone

Irons:  :callaway-small: Mavrik 4-GW

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CG-14 56 & RTX 52

Putter:  :ping-small: Scottsdale Wolverine

Woods:  Gigagolf  3W, 2H, 3H

Ball:  Srixon Z-Star XV 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/29/2022 at 11:29 PM, Emmitsburg said:

No more negative putting thoughts! I have broken down my putts into 3 categories. Poor line, poor pace or good putt. In all cases walking off the green I feel good knowing I can fix the line or pace. And even if the putt stops on the lip, it was a good putt. No longer keeping track of the lost opportunities on the greens!

Well done, some great tips on here, I thought on your opening post that you are/were being far too hard on yourself.

even some pro’s are not great putters, and the difference between amateurs and pros is the smallest in the whole game.

My tip is to not take putting so seriously, try a round where you loosely but deliberately just tap your putts to the hole, you’ll probably find your putting is not much different to your normal and could even be better 🙂 

If your putts are under 36, well done, if they are over 36 you need to chip it closer 😅

Keen amateur 

Cobra King F9 driver

Callaway 3w & 5w

Taylormade M4 5-PW

Cleveland RTX mid grind 50, 58, 56, 60

Oddysey Versa Sabretooth putter (as used by Inbee Park)

Bushnell Pro X3 Rangefinder 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I appreciate all the posts/advice. Had no idea my putting woes would generate such response.  Guess I am in good company. Since initiating this post I was finally able to get a handle on my negative approach. My new approach narrows my putting into two. Ones that go in and ones that do not.  For those that do not there are two causes. Bad alignment or bad speed. Even lip outs do not bother me anymore. After a bad putting round I assess the misses and either practice pace or alignment. In the past few months my 3 putts are down considerably, birdies are more frequent and putting has become much more enjoyable. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a portion of this season with putting woes. I have always been a good putter, but this season was getting to me. What changed? Well, my trusty putters grip was finally toast. I knew what I wanted but it was not in stock. My local golf store had the Superstroke Flatso in stock. I wanted just the Superstroke 3.0. I thought the Flatso would be fine. The size was correct, but it just had the wider flat. I missed so many short putts I couldn't even count them. I had confidence in my putting, I know my putter was working fine before the change.  I finally gave up on trying to get this sorted out and cut the grip off and installed the 3.0. Freaking miracle, everything was working as it should. I wasted about 3 months. I put a laser on it, digital protractor that had .01 degrees accuracy. Way better than any factory installation. It created doubt on anything inside 4 feet which was always a no brainer. In the end it was just my hand to grip fit that was off. I even tried to change my putting for short putts, arm lock, claw etc. I really didn't think that the putters grip would impact my putting so much. 

Confidence is back, Game on!  

  • Like 1

:titleist-small: Driver, TSi1 10* Stiff Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: 939x 5 hybrid

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (6 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/7/2022 at 1:22 PM, alfriday101 said:

The book "The Lost Art of Putting" should move to the top of your reading list.  It spot on dresses the very issue you bring up.  

 

The first part of the book addresses the concept of "changing your story."  You gave us your story in the post, you've been a bad putter for 40 years.  Positive thoughts alone won't work; after all, you start out with optimism and a positive attitude.  I you don't change your story, you won't improve.  Sorry.  Read the book. It has a lot of good advice.  it is not a "how to" or technical book. 

 

 

 

This guy was on the Sweet Spot Golf podcast recently. I would also recommend tracking strokes gained to get a better expectation of what good putters do. Also the speed drill from Decade golf is great. I wish I did that drill more often before rounds. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...