Have you ever stood over a three foot putt thinking, there is no way I should miss this? Only to find yourself tapping in an eight inch putt for bogey…As you walk away from the hole, you realize “Wow! I just threw away a shot there”. And somehow that shot just counted the same as the 275 yard drive that you put down the middle of the fairway. Why is it that some us have such an issue with a short putt that we feel should be routine? I think I have some ideas on how to help with these short “knee wobblers.”
First and foremost, once we have chipped or lagged the ball close to the hole, we mark the ball with our ball marker. There are too many amateurs that do not take the time to go through their pre-shot process and treat this short putt the same as they do an approach shot or ten-footer. From there, once it is our turn, we replace the ball back to its original spot. Now, using some type of line on our ball, (i.e. Letters of the name brand or a Sharpie line) we have lined the ball up to the proper spot of how much we think it’s going to break. So, let’s start out our process by marking the short putt and taking our time to line the ball up.
Now that we have our ball lined up, go ahead and step to the side of our ball. The process here begins with our head looking at the hole while we are making our practice strokes. In your head, keep a little clock going thinking “and one”, once you make your practice backstroke to your forward stroke. “And two” as you take your second stroke. The key to this is to keep the tempo of our stroke consistent. From there we step over our putt, feeling that we have no tension in our upper body and arms that sometimes seems to creep in over pressure putts or short putts. So now, as we take our real stroke while are thinking “and three”. Be sure to keep your head down and do not peek at the hole. We should hear the ball hit the bottom of the cup, telling us we can now look up and pick our ball out of the cup.
Take this process to the course and you will find yourself becoming more confident over these short putts. Not only that, we will improve our scores!