Handling pressure putts plays an
important part in your success on the greens.
Expectations create pressure. Control your mind and you can keep anxiety at bay. Don't under-estimate the mental side of putting.
In the beginning it is essential to learn the basic fundamentals of good putting. If you can’t:
your putting will be streaky at best. You will have your good days and you will have your bad days.
It is not enough to have a perfect stroke if you fall apart when the going get tough.
If you want to become a consistent putter with better than average results, especially on pressure putts, then you will need to learn more about how to handle yourself when the heat is on.
Your outlook, your self-talk, your expectations, your mental attitude, and how you react when luck turns against you, determine if you will be able to take your putting to a higher level.
Like everything in life, the more you understand what is involved in achieving success, the better you can direct your efforts. However, knowledge and understanding can never replace the experience of actually doing it.
In other words, the more you practise your putting systematically, the more you are steeling your coping skills when faced with a pressure putt. Nothing can replace effort. You can't just think your way to success.
Gary Player, it is said, coined the phrase that the more he practised, the luckier he got. The concept that competence in performing an activity creates the confidence to do it.
The more you do something, the more you will be able to do it without conscious thinking. Putting with an empty mind is the ultimate goal. In the context of making a pressure putt: you see it, you feel it, and then without any thought you do it.
Writing about the Science of Putting is easy. Explaining how to hold the putter can be demonstrated, observed and corrected. You can explain the information using physics and biomechanics. But telling someone to be confident and to feel positive over a short putt, is more airy-fairy.
The Art of Putting, that of feel, touch, attitude and confidence is more abstract and more transient. On one day you can see the path of your putts clearly, the next day nothing fits your eye, and your confidence evaporates.
Our mind is a wondrous thing. It allows us to think, and here is the interesting part. Our thoughts affect our moods that in turn affect our actions. We become, and are what we think.