Consistently putting well is one of the hardest things to do at this game. Every course and every green is different. Throw in grain, slope, spike marks, ball marks, foot prints, shadows, etc. and you can easily see why holing putts is difficult. This being the case, staying positive towards your putting is not easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do in this game. Putting well requires confidence. Confidence comes from trusting and believing in what you’re doing. To gain more confidence, consider thinking about putting this way: try to make the putt in your mind, not whether it goes in the hole or not. This is not easy, but if you can adopt this mind-set, you’ll gain more confidence and stay more positive on the greens.
When you hit a putt there are two possible outcomes: it either goes in the hole or it doesn’t. There’s nothing in between. This gives us many highs and lows. It’s easy to become result-orientated, meaning you judge your success solely on the results. This is counter-productive because the odds are you’re going to miss more putts than you hole.
What I like to do is judge my putting success on how I hit the putt. I want to “make” the putt in my mind. I try to roll the ball to the best of my ability on the line I choose. If I do that, I’m happy. I’m obviously happier if the ball goes in the hole, but I know it’s out of my control once the ball leaves the putter face. When I’m putting well, I will “make” most of the putts in my mind, but the odds are I’ve only holed a few on the greens. I like to think that if you make a good putt in your mind and it doesn’t go in it just means your odds of holing the next putt goes up. At least it does my mind. Try this the next time you play and I bet you’ll not only be in a better frame of mind, but you’ll putt better too.