Today I kick off a series of posts on a crucial key in golf that when implemented into one part of your game, can have a sizable effect. When implemented into all parts of your game, shot after shot (driving, fairway shots, short-game and putting), you shoot career low scores and your entire game goes up a few levels. When I shot a 9 birdie round of 65 a year or so ago, my INTENTION was strong and I was playing up a few levels. Lets get to it.
The Crucial Key that produces solid golf all the time, and sometimes, zoned-in golf that is quite simply – sublime
The key that I’m talking of is your INTENTION. I have thought about this a lot over last year. I try and catch myself out when I’m not fully committed to how I want to play a shot – of any length. I will give you some examples over the next few posts. Today, we will focus on how it relates to putting (plenty of resources in this article if you want to investigate further).
I wrote about Truth About Putting Tribe Member Joan here on the blog in this article . In the article I explain how the aesthetics of the putting stroke – and whether it goes back straight and through, have very little to do with making a lot of putts and being a very good putter.
It just so happens that the “putting stroke” maybe one of the simplest “actions” in all of sport. So to be thinking about it’s plane and “trying” to take the putter back straight, has next to nothing to do with “the things that matter”, like: tempo, reading and reacting fearlessly to the putt you have before you.
I spent some time with Joan on the putting green and out on the course. She aimed right of the target with her putter-head and pulled across the ball to get the ball on target; a classic over-the-top move – but with the putter. Definitely not text book.
However, she is a VERY good putter. I didn’t change her funky style, I backed-up what I talk and write about in The Truth About Putting . We stick to out Pillars – our system for putting, the 4 R’s: Read, Routine, React, Review. When you start taking too much – or not enough time – when reading the putt, you’re breaking the system; when you take an extra look at the hole when you are in your stance, you’re breaking the system; when you take an extra practice putting stroke, you are breaking the system; when you get angry after missing a short putt and don’t carry out the 4th R (Review), you’re breaking the system (or process if you like).
Back to Joan, a little while after I “drove” the 4 R’s further into Joan’s noggin (Australian for head), she did something remarkable with the putter in her Club Championship. Read more about it in the post here.
What Joan had “going” for her was a very good 3rd R – React. She reacted beautifully to what she saw. When you react without much care, you putt well (it’s a fine line though, you must line up and read the putt before “letting it go and swinging”). What I had to work on with Joan, was her reading and routine. She just wasn’t going through the reading-process behind every shot, “doing your homework” as I like to say.
If you do not have a precise INTENTION for where you want the ball to go, the ball is not going to go there as often as if you had “programmed” your intention prior to putting.
So, despite Joan not physically aiming at the hole, her INTENTION was there, she was ORIENTATED towards the hole; she would then “react freely” and the ball would hone in on the hole.
What about old Ray, remember? If you signed up as one of my subscribers you would have learned about Ray and how poorly he was putting when he was thinking about “hitting-up-on-the ball” – to no precise, train-track intended-line. When he started “reading the line and speed” and forgot about “useless, feel-impeding, technical mental babble”, the true Ray shone. You can reacquaint yourself with Ray’s story here.
Following the 4 R’s on EVERY putt will send the ball to the hole on the intended line at the correct speed. Start doing this routinely – adhere to the system, and you will be rewarded.
If you are not yet a Truth about Putting Tribe member, and would like to learn more and take your putting up a few levels – like thousands of golfers around the World have, head here to the information page.
Next up in our Intention Series: Become a better ball-striker. Look out for it.
Stop the technical babble, and go play with Feel and Intention in your next game!