Do This If You Want
To Putt Your Best
(Part 1 of 3)
"I can't get the ball in the hole!! What's wrong with me?"
Bill was frustrated. He was fed up. And as he stood in front of me I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him...
And he continued with his story...
"I have tried everything to putt better. I really have. And I am frustrated because I can do so many other things well.
- I have a wonderful family life
- I am successful with my business
- I have a handy tennis game
- I can hit the golf ball well most of the time
But I can't get that bloody ball into the hole from 2 feet! I have all the putters. I have tried all the theories and I even work hard at my putting."
Bill was certainly upset. And as he settled down I truly began to understand his pain.
And Then Things Get Worse
Bill continued, "Cameron, I was playing a few weeks ago and I totally lost the plot. I made a good start to my round, was even par through 6 then the wheels fell off.
I was on the front edge of 7 in two (a par 5) and nearly made the eagle putt - it only just missed. Unfortunately, it slid a few feet by the hole.
And I could feel the tension building inside me. I was getting more nervous as the seconds ticked by.
And then, when it was my turn to putt, I was feeling completely hopeless. I actually froze over the ball. So I backed away and tried again.
It was no good. My mind was spinning, my hands went numb and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I yipped the putt and then missed the next one (Bill held his hands apart to show me the putt was only about a foot long).
It was so unfair! I played the hole perfectly and still made a bogey!
On the 8th hole I missed another 3 footer.
I was getting angrier and angrier.
On 9, I just missed the green. Hit a really good chip but then flinched on my par save. Another bogey.
I didn't want to continue. I wanted to walk off the course but because I was playing in a competition round, I decided to keep going.
I managed to par 10 and 11 and this made me feel better. So, despite all the bad putting, I was managing to hang in there...
Then I got to the 12th green. The nerves took hold again and I belted my first putt way past the hole.
I left my second putt way short (I think I actually hit the ground first). Then I yipped my 3rd putt and tapped in for a triple bogey.
And this is when I lost the plot. It was totally out of character for me but the frustration got the better of me.
I let out a huge "!@#$!" and I then threw my putter across the green and into my bag. The putter broke into two pieces and I upset some fellow golfers on another green. I have never felt worse on a golf course.
I got into a bit of trouble for that little stunt. I received a letter from the committee and I had to front the last meeting. It was all really embarrassing and I have even questioned if I want to continue playing golf.
I just want to be able to putt halfway decently so I can shoot somewhere near my potential!
Bill went on, "Cameron, I just want to be able to putt the ball in a way that's not embarrassing. I am so sick of missing all those putts. I am tired of feeling helpless. I can't stand the thought of ruining another round of golf by yipping and flinching my way around the golf course."
"And God help me if I lose my temper again and break a putter. I'll get suspended for sure!"
"I just want to feel normal. I hate not being able to get the ball into the hole!"
Bill had come to see me because he had heard about me through a mutual friend. At this point he looked like a broken man. Despite all of his success off the golf course, poor ole' Bill was shattered.
"Bill", I said
I know how you feel
"Yes. And what you're going through is quite normal. In fact, you are not alone. Over the years I've talked to thousands of golfers from all over the world, and many of them were just like you.
"Really?", he said.
"Yep. And in fact, what I've found is that those who are most talented and try the hardest oftentimes struggle with their putting the most", I said
The #1 thing that proves whether or not you're able to putt decently
Bill relaxed a little. His jaw loosened and it appeared that he let go of some tension with a deep breath.
"Bill", I continued.
"I have been doing this coaching stuff for over 20 years now. And when it comes to putting, there's an exercise I like to do that will prove to me (and you) in a matter of seconds, if you're capable of putting anywhere near your potential"
Would you like to know what it is?"
"Of course I would", said Bill
"Ok, but before I share with you this exercise, you need to be aware of the consequences of going down this path. You may never look at putting the same way again. You won't be able to "unlearn" or forget this exercise.
And what I am about to share with you has nothing to do with special talent or some magical ability to read greens. If you fail this exercise I am not sure I can help you. And you may have to quit golf or accept you just don't have what it takes to putt the ball into the hole""
"Are you sure you want to continue?"
Bill looked a little dazzled. But I wanted him to commit to the process because I was determined to help him.
Bill was in the depths of a putting nightmare and I truly wanted him to go "all in". I wanted to break the shackles of his putting woes and set him straight.
So I needed his commitment. Any deviation. Any doubt. Any hesitation and I wouldn't continue.
After another deep breath, Bill said, "I am in. I want to continue".
Are you ready for the next lesson?