Get too technical over the ball when putting? Karl Morris shows you how clear intention can help you with your putting

I would imagine that many of you reading this article spend, as I do, too much time in your car sat waiting in traffic. It is one of the drawbacks of modern travel.

Yet, I would also imagine that most of you have in your car a sat nav system? While these systems are not always perfect they do make finding a location a much easier task than we had back in the day of maps and asking locals for directions. In the main, the sat nav system will get you to your location. They are a wonderful piece of kit. Yet, you have a part to play in the adventure. The sat nav in effect asks you a simple question: “Where do you want to go?”

Your part of the bargain is that you punch in precise information. If you are looking to arrive at Stockport GC then you need to input a precise postcode. If you punch in Stockport then you will get somewhere near to the club but you will not be at the gates of what is a beautiful course.

What has this got to do with your golf game?

Maybe everything.

I remember hearing Nick Faldo say many years ago that one of the most powerful forces he felt when playing the game was from clear intention.

What do you actually intend to do with this shot? Perhaps even more specifically, what do you intend to do with this putt? Of course you may intend to hole the putt. But what about the specifics? What about the postcode?

We have had some really interesting feedback so far from our book, The Lost Art of Putting, and in particular the simplicity of asking the question, “What does this ball need to do to go in the hole?”

It sounds a very simple question but the effect is when you ask that question your brain supplies very high quality information to your body.

When you answer the question you are in effect punching in a postcode. You will see the line of the putt, the pace and, perhaps most importantly, the entry point into the hole. You begin to hole more putts at a precise point.

hole more putts

Hole more putts3>: What we can learn from Rory

It was interesting to hear Rory Mcllroy say recently that the work he had been doing with one of the greatest putters the game has ever known, Brad Faxon, was all about seeing the ball go in on the right edge or the left edge or the back of the hole. Rory had said that to try to take technical thoughts about the stroke onto the golf course in the heat of battle was almost impossible.

I couldn’t agree with him more. There may well be a time and place to do some work on your putting stoke but the golf course is not that time or the place.

Motor learning theory proposes that your body will organise movement around a precise intention. If you have a clear intention to roll the ball into the hole at a certain location a whole series of messages then collect in the system to get the job done. Does this mean you will begin to hole every putt?

Of course not, but you will begin to give yourself a much better chance. You may not be able to hole every putt but you can ask a good question on every putt.

It is so important to realise that you can control what you do before you hit a putt and you can control how you react after the putt has either gone in or missed. What you cannot control is the outcome of the putt. There are just too many variables between ball and hole for you to own the outcome. Yet, when you create clear intention on every putt you will find that at first you may start to ‘miss better’ and you are giving more and more putts a chance to go in.

Join in the fun and become part of a new way of thinking. Become a member of the ‘Lost Art’ community – we are getting some very interesting results.