Deadly sins of putting: Ignore the score

Golf Tips

Never focus on your scorecard when standing over a putt

Dr Bob Winter is one of the leading mental coaches in the world. Winter is a mind game coach at DLGA and has helped golfers rise to the international stage.

He believes you should never think of your score or possible score while you are stood over the ball.

A numbers game

‘Scoreboard putting’ refers to the common problem of running a total in your mind of how you are doing. This ‘outcome focus’ takes your mind into the future, off the task of focusing on what needs to be done here and now with the putter in hand. Creating a form of tension involving others and their games.

The releasing of the running score may be the hardest aspect for all golfers to master because of our calculating and addictive minds. As you are playing a tournament round, you may be calculating your score and know exactly where you stand.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Jordan Spieth of the United States is seen at the top of the leaderboard during the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

This may translate into a “do or die” situation that places enormous pressure into making a particular putt coming down the stretch. What this error does is to project the golfer into the future and takes them out of the present moment and putt.

Don’t think of your scorecard

The cure for scoreboard putting is to dismiss the running score and focus on the present putt. Simply, the focus should be One Putt Execution!

As you are getting ready to step into and address your putt, your focus should not be on score. Thoughts of comparison or winning. But simply on maintaining your intention on what you want to do with this putt right now!

The best golfers and putters in the world are excellent at doing this. They perform their putting ritual to stabilise themselves from a possible emotional hijack.

You must learn to do the same and treat each putt as a putt that deserves to be made. Regardless of the outcome or what the event could mean on the scorecard. Hitting the ball as solid as you can and accepting the result is the best way to combat this ineffective attitude.

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