Get rid of your anxiety over short putts

Stop, lock and listen: Learn two ways to thwart anxiety on your second putt

On short putts, anxiety often causes us to follow the roll of the ball with our eyes. In itself that’s OK, but the problem here is that eye movement can lead to head movement, which tends to mean shoulder movement. Before you know it, you’ve yanked the putter off line. Instead, here is a two-step drill that will return structure to your stroke and help you stay much steadier over the ball. I call it Lock and Rock.

Fault: Peeking at the ball and hole… leading to damaging body motion

Fix: Lock your legs… and listen for the cup rattle

Step #1: Rock Solid

Set up to the ball as normal, but feel your legs have been buried in concrete. Widen your stance a little and flex your knees to activate the thigh and glute muscles. Feel that everything from the hips down is locked in place.

short putts

Step #2: Hit and hark

With your lower half locked, control the stroke through a rock of your shoulders. But also, don’t look but listen for the result. This stops your eyes following the ball, guaranteeing a still head and a steadier eye.

Avoid: Turning Off

Following the ball off the blade leads to unwanted and unnecessary upper- body motion, that turns the stroke, blade and ball off the target line.

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