Something for the Weekend: Carefree approach to short putts

Coach Sam suggests we

Bob Warters's picture
Bob Warters
Thu, 13 Sep 2012

Something for the Weekend: Carefree approach to short putts

I’ve been a long time follower of the coaching approach of PGA pro Sam Jarman, now based in Milton Keynes.

He has a no-nonsense approach using simple vocabulary when it comes to teaching both the mental and the technical side of the game.

So I wasn’t surprised to discover his blog this week that identified how thinking too much about our putting stroke tends to get in the way, especially over short putts.

He says: “When a player misses a short putt, you often hear commentators say, ‘That was careless.’ But the opposite is true. 

“When I start missing short putts, it’s usually because I was being too careful, was thinking too much and didn’t roll the ball freely at the hole.

“Every time we get in our car, prepare food or cross a road, we do it with far less ‘care’ and tension yet with more confidence, composure and assurance than trying to hole 3-footer for par.

“If I’m chopping vegetables with a sharp knife, I don’t think or worry about ‘doing it right’ or making a mistake. When I jump into my car and start the engine, I don’t think about being too careful.

“Practice helps and I drive every day, so I’m pretty confident in my skills. But I practice my putting a lot too and on the practice green, I rarely miss a short putt.”

Sam adds that the only pressure in golf is the pressure we put on ourselves.

“If I’m frustrated and disappointed by my golf instead of enjoying it, it’s a sign I’m applying the wrong meaning to it. Caring too much about a putt is much more likely to make me miss it, than caring too little.”

As one brand claims: ‘Just do it!’

Want more?

Head to our Something for the Weekend index. What’s your recipe for overcoming nerves on those short putts? Let us know in the forum, or tweet us @Golfmagic.