The Mental Putting Game

Chances are you spend most of your practice time trying to perfect your golf swing. There has been a mindset change in young world-class golfers to focus instead primarily on getting the ball into the hole.

Putting is the great equalizer in the game of golf. It is the only shot you hit on every hole. It is the part of the game where the ball never leaves the ground. It is a game within a game. The better you become as a golfer, the more you will realize the important part that putting plays in scoring low. Up to 40-50% of your score can be played out on the greens.

An example of this mindset change in focus is Jordan Spieth. Jordan is an incredibly consistent putter who does not overpower a golf course with his 290+ yard drives as compared with Dustin Johnson’s 334+ yard average. On the Tour, Spieth is ranked 5th in putting strokes gained and 1st in strokes gained around the greens.

Putting is both an art form and a science. There is a wealth of information about the scientific mechanics of putting. Putting is artful because in your mind you create the path the ball will travel and then stroke it with an artful stroke of gentleness or firmness depending upon the conditions. It is the stroke where you need to completely trust your intuition and creativeness. Great putters are made through an understanding of where their minds have to be and an appreciation of where their mechanics have to be.

The putting stroke is one of the simplest skills in all of sport. Golfers make it the most difficult because of a change in their mindset. Don’t take the fun out of putting by creating a fear thought about the outcome. Let go of the thoughts of having to make it for a birdie, or to win the hole, or to make up for a 3-putt. These are all thoughts that can change your emotional state and putting stroke.

Where do you develop fear in your putting? As you get closer to the hole? When you miss an easy putt? After you three-putt a couple of times?  A 2-footer that you think you should make?

Fear and anxiety come from your belief about yourself and the way you view your putting ability. Here are six positive putting practices for developing confidence.

  1. Change your thinking to believe that you can roll the ball well enough to give it a chance to go in.
  2. Keep your focus on the process instead of putting pressure on yourself to putt for score.
  3. Don’t compare your results with your playing partners. Stay focused on the things you can control.
  4. Give every putt the same importance and attention.
  5. Decide you can make every putt.
  6. Develop and use a consistent pre-putt routine.

When do you decide you are putting poorly? When do you decide you are putting well? Have you decided to become a good putter? Or do you constantly talk about how poorly you putt?

To become a good putter, you must have a confident attitude that you believe in no matter what the results are. That positive attitude includes being enthusiastic about wanting to putt, having your complete focus on the process of making the putt, having a specific plan, believing in your ability to carry out your plan, and being relaxed enough to putt the ball where you want it to go.

One of the most important things you can do to save strokes is to have your putter adjusted, or better yet, be fitted for a new putter. When your putts go in, you judge that you are doing it right. When they don’t go in, you think you are doing something wrong and try to fix it. However, if your putter is not fitted to your stroke, the mistake is in the putter, not in your stroke.

At the TaylorMade Kingdom of Golf at Reynolds Plantation, Georgia, I was recently fitted with high-speed camera testing and computer feedback of my putting stroke. With the new visual technology,  formerly only available to pro golfers, they get accurate measurements for producing a putter with a pure roll no matter what your style of putting. This can only increase your confidence in your putting ability. As someone said; being custom fitted for your putter is like putting the right brush in the painter’s hand to create a masterpiece.

Think like Jordan Spieth and plan to make every putt, and then putt to your plan. As Greg Norman said, you never want to entertain the thought of a second putt. This one putt in front of you is your last!

Great putters don’t spend time thinking about missed putts. They remember the good putts they made. Choose to change your putting game by visualizing and thinking only about your good putts.

Make up your mind that you are a great putter and that you enjoy the art of putting. 

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

Improve your mental putting game by listening in the privacy of your own home to the PMI self-hypnosis CD, Confident Putting for Lower Scores.  You can order today at

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

A new mental golf book is available now on and

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.








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