Putting on your BEST days, what’s your mindset?

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By Steve F

  • 33 Replies
  1. Steve F

    Steve F
    rancho palos verdes, CA

    8 handicap Somedays the putter gets hot. But mostly I am just a bit off. Practice about 4 times a week, playing twice a week at least. Would love to hear about practice routines or meditations or whatever is working for you!! I have a good routine, try to look from the side to see if I am putting up or downhill, then from behind, take 1 or 2 “feel” practice swings while looking from behind the ball, adjust the line on my ball with my chosen line, then address, arms locked and make my move with the big muscles in my back….always accelerating through impact. I know I can become more consistent and would really appreciate any advice or input. Steven Palm Springs, Ca

  2. Brock L

    Brock L
    Fort Myers, FL

    In my opinion, nothing more important than being able to "roll" the ball on your intended target line... meaning when you set up your line and stroke the putt, the ball rolls on that axis end over end. If your ball skids, jumps or gets off that true roll, your line and your distance will be off, meaning you make fewer putts.

    To practice this, my primary drill is finding a straight uphill 10 foot putt, and working on making a reasonably aggressive stroke. Then i will work with slightly shorter, but breaking putts, just focusing on keeping that line rolling end over end. If you can roll the ball, all that's left is reading putts correctly and knocking them in the hole. LOL
  3. I like to practice on a hole cut on a bit of a hill and make putts from all 4 directions, moving farther and farther away after I drop a few from each direction and distance. It gives me confidence on different looks, and varies the speed. I am also less worried about lag putts after having drained a bunch from 4-5 feet.
  4. Mike M

    Mike M
    Salem MA

    The longer I stand over the ball, the worse the outcome.I take a look at the break from behind, pick out a spot ,one practice stroke for feel, and go.
  5. Anthony A

    Anthony A
    Sugar Grove, Ohio

    I agree, read it and putt it. The longer I stand over a putt the longer I think about it.
  6. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Mindset to find my line and get it to the hole. Most read too much into a putt, spend too much time over the putt and talk themselves into missing the line and come up short. Just an observation over the years.
  7. george t

    george t
    Old Lyme, CT

    I believe a key for me, besides the obvious pace and line, is to just not think about the putting stroke. As Eddie Lowey said in The Greatest Game Ever Played, “see it, roll it, hole it”.

    Whenever I get hung up on mechanics, I find myself either blocking putts or dying them just short of the hole. I sometimes wonder if this is what happens to Lexi Thompson.
  8. Dr. Kovatchian

    Dr. Kovatchian

    My best days putting these aspects are firing at 100%.

    1-Speed Control
    2-Alignment/Picking the Correct Line
    3-Visualization and Stroke

    Most importantly Speed Control is what I love to focus on prior to the round.
    Having great Speed Control makes putting sooooo much easier.

    Dr. K
  9. Dale V

    Dale V
    Surprise AZ

    So true Dr. K! Watch the pros and they almost always get the ball to the hole or just barely past. Sit and watch the weekend golfers at your home course and they rarely get the ball to the hole or they race it by 6 feet. Pace, pace, pace.
  10. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC


    Dale V said:

    So true Dr. K! Watch the pros and they almost always get the ball to the hole or just barely past. Sit and watch the weekend golfers at your home course and they rarely get the ball to the hole or they race it by 6 feet. Pace, pace, pace.

    Dale. Watch some crazy things other than golf, such as Street Outlaws and their crazy fast cars. Can't stand the dialogue, but love to watch the cars go fast. I knew you reminded me of someone I had seen and you look like one one of the driver's on there. Jeff Lutz. Drive's a yellow 2000 hp GTO. Are you sure that is not you in disguise? =)
  11. Dale V

    Dale V
    Surprise AZ

    A car driver that looks like me? He must have been in a lot of accidents. :)
  12. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC


    Dale V said:

    A car driver that looks like me? He must have been in a lot of accidents. :)

    Was reading the latest on this post, Dale and saw this. As a matter of fact, Lutz has had a number of wrecks and totaled his cars. When you drive as fast as these guys do, wrecks are common. You guys are about the same size. Weird. You know they say, we all have a twin somewhere. He races out of the 405, Oklahoma City.
  13. Guy W

    Guy W
    Statesville, NC

    After thinking about it, I would have to say that line and pace are what I concentrate on. After that I step in, take one last look, clear my mind, a little forward lean on the putter and go. No practice stroke. Don't know why, it's just comfortable for me.
  14. Teedz

    Fresno, CA

    When it comes to putting, all I worry about is getting my distance control down. When practicing putting, I work on distance control (obviously hitting it straight too). But if I can get my distance control down, it can almost guarantee me no three putts (unless it's a massive green). When I go to play a course, I would rather work on my putting to get the green speed down rather than warm up on the range (if I had to pick one). Mainly because the putter can save you so many shots.
  15. I practice at home a couple of times a week trying to hit a tee peg or coin from 6-8 feet for 20/30 putts. Then before a round I’ll roll 10-20 putts to get the pace and not worry about the line before going out and just focusing on my reading of my putts.

    I’ve done the practice at home so once on the course I just let go of control and trust it. That seems to work best for me.
  16. Gsoup


    Trust. Trust that I have the correct line. Then a smooth back and through not looking up until the ball has rolled a foot or two.
  17. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    I line putt, so I look at the hole trace my eyes back to the ball the line I see & strike the ball.

    As for practice I do 3 things.
    1. I chip 15 balls & try to 1 putt as many as possible. This works both parts of the short game
    2. I take 15 balls & place 5 groups of 3 different lengths & around the hole & count how many I make.
    3. I take 15 balls & place them 3ft. 6ft, 12ft, 15ft (repeat until all balls are placed) individually around the hole & count how many putts I make.

    I do this 3 times a week & or after every range session I have.

  18. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    Some awareness is needed on the green (slope, distance, etc...) but as others have stated...just hit it! Let the mind go free!
  19. JAYW3


    I read my putts, right or left edge, or one, two, three ball, right or left. Anything outside of that I pick a mid point in my arch between me and the hole. Then I focus on tempo of my stroke. No matter how short or long my stroke is, I maintain the same tempo. Here's a link to the video I watched on tempo from David Ledbetter.


  20. Paul T

    Paul T
    alpharetta, GA

    After reading the green and picking a line...

    On my best days, my simple thought as I step into a putt is 'make'.

    My mechanics thought is "release".
  21. J.C.


    on my best putting days my best thought is not to see the ball go in the hole but to pick two spots that i want my ball to roll over. First spot is about 1/3 of the way to the hole and the second is about 3/4 of the way of the hole. First spot is to know I have started my putt on the correct line and the second is to know I have to hit it with the right pace.
  22. Military
    Be confident and trust your line. Put a solid stroke on it. Just be confident.

    People get all worked up with having a perfect stroke but I would rather have a stroke I can repeat.

    I like to start with lag putts and work my way in. This helps me with my speed.
  23. Thomas Y

    Thomas Y
    Wenham, MA

    I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding your question, but when I have my best putting days, I read the putt from behind the ball and envision the pace and line to the hole. On big sidehill putts, I might look from the middle of the low side as well. For me, it is like seeing a track from the ball to the hole.

    I used to have periods of a few weeks when I could envision the line. Now, the periods are very brief, maybe only one or two rounds a summer (less practice?), but there are definitely days when I know I could walk the ball into the hole, when the ball is halfway there. It's a great feeling, but I wish I could have bottled this.
  24. Jason S

    Jason S
    Wausau, WI

    I'm not sure it's a mind set for me. Some days you just see the lines better than other days.
  25. Steve

    Carlsbad, CA

    I use the notion similar to tossing a baseball or any ball to a target underhand. You feel the ball and see the target and toss it. see the target, feel it, toss it. Or in golf see the hole, feel it, and putt it. The more I keep it simple and trust the more the putts seem to find the bottom of the hole!
  26. I like to see the putt line all the way to the hole. By this I mean I see where the break starts and then visualize the line to the hole. Of course if it is straight in this doesn’t apply.
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