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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Golf


Improve Your Putting By Developing
Rock Solid Confidence On The Green

Jarrod Cash

All of us have missed a short putt before. It is frustrating to miss something you know you can make! And most often a missed short putt can cause a chain reaction of bad play. Every golfer will have a tendency to remember a bad shot at a certain hole when he next plays that hole. Think of any short putt as a link on a chain that is a slack and being pulled tight. As the chain tightens each link is influenced by the one in front of it and influences the links behind it. What you must learn to do is break this chain of bad reactions by silencing that inner voice. This inner voice will tell you all manner of ill-advised advice and you must build a new chain based on memories of successful shots, not the failures of previous ones.

Next time, as you approach the green for your putt, do not speculate on what the condition or pace of the green is until you actually get there. Wait until you can physically check the conditions with your sight and touch. Here is where a key principle is at work. As you are consciously checking the grass and the line to the hole, your memory is subconsciously at work, as well, accessing previous experiences with which to compare this one. Much of the time, the images that are being recalled are things that are best forgotten -Things like whether or not you hooked your last putt on this green, or pushed it on a prior hole. Indeed, I am certain that golfers miss short putts purely because their memory, at the most awkward time possible, reminds them of the countless other short putts they have missed.

Thinking of missed or bad shots sets your mind and body into motion to repeat that same missed shot. Instead close your eyes for a moment and clear your mind of those memories. Visualize yourself hitting the ball perfectly, feel the club in your hand. Hear the ball hit the bottom of the cup. Then open your eyes, ready yourself and remember how you just saw yourself in your mind, and make the shot.

After the shot is sunk in the hole, take a moment and remember the putt, how you made it, make a vivid impression in your mind. This training will become a link in the chain, and it will influence the next link (putt). When you are on the next green, recall the putt you made, and then repeat the visualization of sinking this next putt. Thus, a strong 'chain' is built - a successful chain. When you do miss short putts from time to time, even though it is important to learn why you missed so you can correct it, do not think of that missed put on the next green. Dismiss it from your mind and follow the above steps. Soon you will notice a dramatic change in your short game as well as your overall confidence.

(c) 2005 BlackCash Enterprises, LLC All Rights Reserved

Jarrod Cash and Michael Black have created "Psychology of Golf: The Complete Study Course" available at
Are You Too Busy Practicing Your Swing to Improve Your Game? Stop playing golf the hard way!

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