This is the best advice I have EVER been given for putting
In February 2006 I started as the head pro at Hainsworth Park Golf Club in East Yorkshire. A few months after that start date I invited my very good friend, and fellow golf pro, Simon Boddy over for a game.
Simon and I were both junior members at Scarborough North Cliff and spent a lot of time playing golf against each other.
For the most part it was friendly but we were super competitive against each other and his was the first score I looked for after playing in an event.
This spurred each of us on to keep getting better and was a contributing factor in us both turning pro.
Yet, we played different looking games of golf.
I would regard myself as a better ball striker than Simon, but his short game…. oh man his short game!… His chipping and putting was, and still is, the best of anyone I have ever played with or against.
As a result of his short game skills Simon would beat me more times than I beat him.
Which brings me on to the best (and simplest) tip for putting that I have ever received.
It was on that day in May 2006 at Hainsworth Park that Simon and I were playing against each other.
On the first hole I hit a good drive, long and down the middle. Simon hit into the trees on the left but managed to chop it out to the front edge of the green, some 30ft from the pin.
From the centre of the fairway I pitch into the green to about 10ft and you can guess what happened. He raked in his 30-footer and I missed my putt, so I am one down and a birdie bit down too.
As we walked off the green, I turned to Simon and said…
“I don’t know what you think about to hole so many putts?!”
To which he replied straight off the cuff… “What else is there to think about other than holing it?”
I shrugged my shoulders and gave his statement some thought…
What do I think about?
The truth was, especially on longer putts… I wasn’t actually trying to hole the putt.
I was trying to two putt, or, if I am really honest with myself… I was trying NOT to three putt!
I had previously been given advice that, for long putts, I should try to get the ball within a dustbin lid sized ring around the hole.
In other words, I was deliberately putting to miss, albeit to miss by just a little bit.
After Simon’s words of wisdom, I shifted my thought process before every putt…
What does it look like if it goes in?
Is it possible for this to go in?
Now I’d love to tell you that I started draining long putts from everywhere but that’s not what happened.
What I did notice was that I started getting much closer to the hole. My misses were smaller, the instances of three putts reduced significantly, AND I started to hole more long putts.
I think most people confuse the thought of ‘putting to hole’ with one that means hitting the first putt really hard. That is not what it is about.
A putt travelling faster than ideal pace has less chance of going in so it definitely isn’t that.
This is simply about putting with the intention to hole, no matter what the length of putt, whether it be 2 feet or 62 feet.
I find I see the line better, make a better stroke and the outcome is more holed putts and, when they do miss (which of course they do), they miss is by much less.
The Star Challenge
I started to make a note on my scorecard with a little star next to every hole where I made a one putt. At the end of every round I would count up how many stars I had.
I know this isn’t perfect as it’s influenced by how close you’re hitting your approach shots but it certainly shifts your mindset when you get on the green.
Give it a go and email or text me with how many stars you get the next time you play.
Start your message with Pete I got <#> of stars today!
The email is firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a text to 07971 827468.
I’d love to hear how you get on with this simple yet highly effective game within the game.
“What else is there to think about other than holing it?”
Simon Boddy (May 2006)
Check out the video version of this blog post below.
Peter Myers PGA Professional
To improve your golf book a lesson with Peter or any of the other PGA Pro’s at Dunes Golf Centre.
Go to https://yp0te5pkb5.wpdns.site/bookalesson or call on 01346 510693