NCG’s resident mind coach Karl Morris talks you through how you can stay in the present when putting. He explains why it can be detrimental to think about the past or the future, and how to stay in the present. This will help you improve your putting out on the course.

In this series as a whole, you will be asked to consider the ‘art of putting’. This will involve ensuring that your mind is in the best place to allow your putting stroke to come out on a more natural basis. The ultimate aim of the series is to help you to hole more putts, shoot lower scores and have more fun on the golf course.

What do you think about when you hit a nice approach in to the green. I can imagine you either think ‘don’t miss this opportunity’ or ‘don’t miss another one like I have on the last few holes’.

This is a perfect example of what I call time travel. You’re already going into the future by saying that you don’t want to miss the opportunity, and a bit of the past is sprinkled in there when you think back to previous missed putts.

I honestly believe that an awful lot of putts are missed before we even get on the green.

To me, one of the simplest things you can do to bring yourself back into the present is to take your attention right back to the here and now. As you walk up to the green simply focus your attention on the rise and fall of your breath.

When you put your attention on the physical body you lose the thoughts of what is going on in your head. You lose the stories that you are telling yourself will or will not happen with the upcoming putt.

As you walk up to the green just focus your attention on the rise and fall of your breath for a few steps. It should immediately slow that heart rate down and focus your attention on the here and now.

Of course doing this doesn’t guarantee that you will hole the putt but it will put you in a much better state. I actually think that when you go and look at the putt you’ll see it for what it is and not a bunch of stories you’ve told yourself about the future or the past.