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Putting Mentality


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#31 Palmetto Golfer

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 03:07 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 02 October 2017 - 08:25 AM, said:

We have actually done some really cool stuff. 1. We made a straight line putting string device with and put beads on it. He is working on putting stroke and consistency. Beads are to move on the string to spot the ball for putts of distances you are working on. 2. Bought a SKLZ putting mirror to make sure his eyeline is in the appropriate place. 3. Work on lag putting drills. Constantly preach that the ball need to go past the hole. Don't care if it is 8 ft. by, but it needs to go past the hole. Want him to feel like it is OK to run it by. Take the fear out of running it by. 4. Work on Chipping to get better approximatey to the hole. Constantly preach that the ball need to go past the hole. Don't care if it is 8 ft. by, but it needs to go past the hole. Want him to feel like it is OK to run it by. Take the fear out of running it by. 5. Work on approximatey to the hole with iron shots. So far, all seems to slowly be coming together. Really trying to change his mindset.

Sounds like you are on the right track to me.  I have told you this before but it bears the repeating for anyone that is working with their child on putting.  The worst mistake I ever made was to get frustrated that my son was running putts way past the hole.  DON'T DO THAT!!!  unfortunately, your child will listen to you and leave it short!!!  It took a long time to break him of the short putt habit.

The drill that really helped my son was the drill you mentioned in a previous post.  That is have him putt to a tee that is 3' off the edge of the green.  The ball has to stop between the tee and edge.  I put tees 15, 18, 21, 24 and 27 feet away. If the ball stops between the tee and green he moves back.  if it doesn't he moves forward.  He cannot stop until he is successful at 27'.  Tough drill.

Keep it up and please keep updating the thread and what is happening.


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#32 sethdavidsdad

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 03:42 PM

Couple of things that really helped me:
1. Get really good at 6 foot putts. If you feel like you can make all 6 footers then it becomes easier to lag putt. Basically expand your circle from get it inside 3 feet to get it inside 6 feet.
2. Get better at chipping and pitching. Should be able to get most inside of 6 foot, then again you are inside your always make circle. If most of your chips are tapins you don't have to putt very much.
3. "Putting out of your mind" book helped me with my attitude. Basically think you are putting to make everything. Not trying to get it close. Not trying not to 3 putt. All putts are makeable, putt every putt like that's the goal.
Good speed drills:
1. ladder drill. putt a ball down at 3',6',9', 12', 15'... and putt to the same hole
2. putt to the edge of the green see if you can stop it close as you can to the edge. This gets you just focusing on speed and distance control only.
3. In the putting book Bob mentions when you warm up or practice just with one ball. drop and putt it out just like you would in a round. Don't drop a bunch of balls and work on the same putt.
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#33 dpb5031

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 04:50 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 27 September 2017 - 10:02 AM, said:

The one thing he doesn't need is more drills.  He doesn't need more distance either as he is plenty long enough for a 12 year old.  Generally speaking on a course of 6000 yards the most club he will have into a Par 4 is a 7i.  Occasionally on a bad drive he may have to dip down to a 4i or 5i.  He doesn't even carry a hybrid and opts for a 3i.  Yes, a 12 year old that can hit a 3i.

A lot of good things in this thread that we do talk about.
1.  Have to think your a good putter to believe your a good putter.
2.  If you want to make more birdies then you need to improve your approximatey to the hole.
3.  You need to make sure your chips are within 6 feet.
4.  Try to get him to think about just putting a good roll on the ball.

I think the biggest thing is that he doesn't think he is a good putter.  I believe he is a good putter, but I need him to believe he is a good putter.  We do plenty of drill so that he sees the ball going into the cup to give him confidence.  When we get to the course he kind of stiffens up.  It is similar to the guy that can make 9 of 10 free throws in practice.  He gets to the game and he is a career 50% FT shooter.  It is definitely something upstairs and trying to make a connection with it.

I'll add one to your list:

5.  You need to LOVE to putt!

This comes to some naturally, others have to learn to love it, but either way it's crucial.  Putting is the ultimate equalizer.  Putts made can be like daggers to your competitors, even if they're hitting it better than you.   It also helps to fortify your own confidence.  Making that clutch 7 to 15 footer can make such a huge difference in holding it all together.

Additional observations being around the game for many years - most players (even pretty good ones and not just juniors) miss over 90% of breaking putts longer than 12 feet on the low side, and most do not get long uphill putts (25'+) to the hole.

Edited by dpb5031, 02 October 2017 - 04:51 PM.


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#34 CTgolf

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:05 PM

View PostPalmetto Golfer, on 28 September 2017 - 09:50 AM, said:

Hey Heavy,

As you said in your previous post, confidence is everything.  if you are not making putts, you lose confidence. If you lose confidence, then you cannot make any putts. It is a vicious cycle. My son has had trouble with distance control before.  Mostly, he would leave them way short.  It was like he was afraid to hit the ball. Here are a couple of ideas I would try and have worked:
  • "If you don't think you can, you are right" this is my favorite quote to use for my boys.  I use it all the time and for any sport they play
  • Roll over a spot. My son started to use this method and it worked well for him.  His main goal when over the ball is to roll the ball over a spot that he has picked out.  This seemed to take out some of the anxiety about 3 putting.  Just focus on rollling it over the spot.
  • Do not focus on the results. You cannot perform if you mind is more concerned about the results rather than what it takes to get good results.
  • Arrogant - yes...he needs to become a little arrogant when a club, esp. the putter, is put in his hands.  This goes back to the confidence thing.  This is just another way to try and get it.  I tell my son all the time before an event that if he doesn't believe that he is the best golfer on the course...then don't get out of the car.  Let's go home.  When you are off the course...lose the arrogance! HA!
You have probably tried one if not all of these.  I know it is frustrating but I do believe this.  He is having a good problem right now.  I believe at his age if all you are worried about is putting then things are going well.  You will not have a birdie putt without a good approach shot and you will not have a good approach shot if you cannot get off the tee.  I was given advice from the father of a web.com tour player.  He said he didn't do it like everyone else. He had his son up to age 13-14 working mostly on his swing.  getting the proper technique. Yes his son lost tournaments do to short game but that all changed when he was 14-15.  He had his swing set and then focused on the short game. Meanwhile, the kids who used to win were still searching for their swing.  At that age, if you are searching for your swing then you are also searching in the woods for your ball!!!

Good luck and let us know how it is going.

This is so true

The full swing is the foundation of the game and determines the ultimate potential (ceiling) of the player

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#35 leezer99

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:30 PM

From Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent

Big Mind Exercise

On a level area of the putting green, place a ball about twenty feet from a hole, with the flag removed.  Set up for the putt, focusing on the hole, and get a feel for the distance from the ball to the hole.  Now close your eyes, walk toward the hole, and, holding the putter by the head, try to put the grip end of the putter into the hole. (Don't count your steps; just put the putter grip down when you think you've gotten to the hole.)

How did you do? Most people stop short of the hole.  They may start taking smaller, tentative steps as they get near the point where they think the hole is, as if they're not allowed to go past it.  The hole is the assumed limit, the end of the 'box' they can't go outside of.  Their mind is only as big as the space between the ball and the hole.

Now set up to the putt again, but this time look beyond the hole.  Expand your view to the far edge of the green, then come back to the hole, seeing it within the larger space.  Now walk again with eyes closed and try to put the grip end of the putter in the hole.  This time you were probably much closer to the hole, or even a little bit beyond it.  That's the impact of letting your mind be bigger.

When you focus tightly on the hole, your mind is smaller and your world is more constricted.  The first time you did the exercise, you probably slowed down as you thought you were getting near the hole.  If the hole were at 'the edge of the world,' you would be careful not to go beyond it and fall off.

If we focus so tightly on the hole that there's nothing in our mind past it, it becomes the edge of our world.  We don't want to send our ball over the edge, so we subconsciously try to just barely get it to the hole.

There is also an optical counterpart to this psychological effect.  Visually focusing tightly on an object foreshortens the perceived distance to that object.  In other words, it looks closer than it actually is.  Combine that with being afraid to go past the hole, and the ball never gets there.  There's one reason why we leave our putts short so often.  

When getting ready to putt, let your view include more of the green and see the distance to the hole within that bigger space.

Bigger space, bigger mind.  Bigger mind, better results.

Edited by leezer99, 03 October 2017 - 12:43 PM.


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#36 heavy_hitter

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:52 PM

View Postleezer99, on 03 October 2017 - 12:30 PM, said:

From Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent

Big Mind Exercise

On a level area of the putting green, place a ball about twenty feet from a hole, with the flag removed.  Set up for the putt, focusing on the hole, and get a feel for the distance from the ball to the hole.  Now close your eyes, walk toward the hole, and, holding the putter by the head, try to put the grip end of the putter into the hole. (Don't count your steps; just put the putter grip down when you think you've gotten to the hole.)

How did you do? Most people stop short of the hole.  They may start taking smaller, tentative steps as they get near the point where they think the hole is, as if they're not allowed to go past it.  The hole is the assumed limit, the end of the 'box' they can't go outside of.  Their mind is only as big as the space between the ball and the hole.

Now set up to the putt again, but this time look beyond the hole.  Expand your view to the far edge of the green, then come back to the hole, seeing it within the larger space.  Now walk again with eyes closed and try to put the grip end of the putter in the hole.  This time you were probably much closer to the hole, or even a little bit beyond it.  That's the impact of letting your mind be bigger.

When you focus tightly on the hole, your mind is smaller and your world is more constricted.  The first time you did the exercise, you probably slowed down as you thought you were getting near the hole.  If the hole were at 'the edge of the world,' you would be careful not to go beyond it and fall off.

If we focus so tightly on the hole that there's nothing in our mind past it, it becomes the edge of our world.  We don't want to send our ball over the edge, so we subconsciously try to just barely get it to the hole.

There is also an optical counterpart to this psychological effect.  Visually focusing tightly on an object foreshortens the perceived distance to that object.  In other words, it looks closer than it actually is.  Combine that with being afraid to go past the hole, and the ball never gets there.  There's one reason why we leave our putts short so often.  

When getting ready to putt, let your view include more of the green and see the distance to the hole within that bigger space.

Bigger space, bigger mind.  Bigger mind, better results.

My son actually has Zen Golf.  I haven't read it, but I am going to ask him about this.  I have actually mentioned to him before about seeing the entire green rather than just the hole.  This is very interesting.

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#37 heavy_hitter

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 01:01 PM

Two great drills we work on a lot.  Probably my favorite two drills.  The putting drill I got was from a book called "The Champion's Brain" by Bill Hamilton.  The chipping drill from his coach.

Champion's Brain Putting Drill
You have 3 balls and putt three times from 6 spots which give you an 18 hole round.  We putt from distances between 10 and 50 feet.  Depending on how well or bad he is doing I will mix them up.  I always start with a 15-18 foot putt.  I always make sure he has 1 spot from 10 feet.   If he drains those three I am going to give him the 50 footer at some point.  I give him straight putts and curved putts.  The idea is to be 3 under through 18 holes.  Something very hard to do if you are three putting.

9 hole chipping
You have one ball and you are going to chip it 9 times from 9 different spots from varying distances to force to use anything from a 7i to a 60.  You chip then go attempt the putt and then you start the next hole.  The goal is to be 3 over or less.

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