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Putting Under Pressure: “Making Putts When it Matters Most”
One of the keys to putting under pressure is to have a routine that you use on every putt whether it is a three-footer or a 40-footer. If you approach the putt visually, mentally and physically the same way you will have a much greater success rate of making both long ones and short ones, especially when it matters. Try this four count drill over the ball. Once you have taken a practice stroke and determined your “read” of the putt, take one last focused look and visualize the ball going into the hole. If you can see it go in you have a great chance of making it! This step I call #1. #2 is when your eyes come back to the ball. Now without taking any more time and staying on the same cadence and rhythm, #3 is backstroke and #4 is forward stroke. So set up: 1: look, 2: eyes back to ball 3. backstroke 4. impact and forward stroke. Easy as 1-2-3-4.
This part of your routine determines the rhythm and cadence of your stroke. This is what I would call a four count putter. The most beneficial aspect to this type of routine is that your mind will stay quiet over the ball and you will basically go on auto pilot. The tempo of the four count will free up your stroke resulting in better contact and more consistency. Also by not thinking about the outcome, of missing or making the putt your focus is placed on just making a solid stroke and going through your routine. Think about a basketball player on a free throw line with time running out and the game on his/her shoulders. The routine is what allows you to perform at your best under pressure!
Krista Dunton, LPGA
Krista Dunton has nearly 20 years of experience in teaching golf. She is currently owner of Krista Dunton golf and teaches at Berkeley Hall and the Village Golf Shop. She is a PGA and LPGA Class A Member and one of only 9 Level 2 Certified Instructors in Jim Hardy’s The Plane Truth, the leader in fixing ball flight and swing shape and helping players produce a correct and repetitive impact.
Krista is experienced in teaching players of all levels of ability from beginners to Tour Players. She has recently been awarded the following honors:
2010 Golf Digest Top 50 Women Teachers
2009 LPGA SouthEast Section Teacher of the Year