You have a must-make eight-foot putt and there is nothing for leaving it short. So you knock it six feet past, shrug your shoulders and say: “Well, I had to have a go.”
The thing is, you will very rarely hole a putt that is going six feet past for pace.
When I have a putt that I really want to hole (is there any other type?) then my main thought isn’t getting the ball to the hole – it is all about rhythm.
Everyone has a unique rhythm so there are no magic words or phrases to help you here but, after a bit of practice, or a lot in my case, you will get to know the pace of a good stroke.
Hit a few putts and try to fix into your brain the feeling of a flowing putt; the swing length will be different for different putts but the timing shouldn’t alter. So, let’s get back to the eight footer.
All I will ever think about is getting the backstroke right – this pretty much determines the distance the ball will travel – and then I let it go.
The only time my rhythm goes off is when I hit at it. When I keep it smooth and flowing, as I have in these pics, that is when it works.
The eyes are following the path of the ball and there are no big body moves. I’d rather see someone come up six inches short rather than cracking it almost off the green.