How to become a bad putter

I have started this topic up for a couple of reasons. The first is that as a teenager I was a great putter. Now as late 30's golfer I am a bad putter. After another bad putting day I thought I would jot down some notes on what I did to become a bad putter. And I'm sharing this to try and get some input from you guy's on what it takes to putt bad and conversely to putt great. So here's my list. Please make any more suggestions on both the bad putting and good putting list because I'm going to give my putting a complete overhaul and want a good place to start from. So here goes...



How I went from a great putter to a bad putter



1. Tried to improve my putting technique so I would hole more short putts.

2. Put pressure on myself to hole short putts.

3. Had overly high expectations about holing putts.

4. Got frustrated when I missed putts.

5. Focused on the outcome too much and felt great if a putt when in and bad if not.

6. Become overly hole focused.

7. Didn't focus on one spot when making my putting stroke. Instead, let my mind and eyes wander.

8. Didn't hold my follow-through but started steering putts.

9. Putting became a chore and work.



Ok, here's what I was doing when I was putting great...



1. Loved putting.

2. Enjoyed practicing putting and seeing the ball go in.

3. Always thought I could hole a putt.

4. Believed I was a great putter.

5. Focused on one spot on the ball as I putted.

6. Didn't get too upset at missing putts.

7. Focused on the process of putting for the sake of rolling the ball and let the outcome take care of itself.

8. Didn't focus on mechanics very much. Just tried to put a good roll on the ball.



I'm sure there will be more things I can think of but that's it for now.



So if you were a good putter and became bad please sure what mistakes you made. And if you're a great putter PLEASE share what you think you do that makes you great.
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  • RickAstleyRickAstley Members Posts: 125 ✭✭
    This is all very similar to what's in "Putting out of your mind" by Bob Rotella. Good, quick read if you want some affirmation to your ideas.
  • cb24cb24 Members Posts: 1,708 ✭✭
    bober74 wrote:


    I have started this topic up for a couple of reasons. The first is that as a teenager I was a great putter. Now as late 30's golfer I am a bad putter. After another bad putting day I thought I would jot down some notes on what I did to become a bad putter. And I'm sharing this to try and get some input from you guy's on what it takes to putt bad and conversely to putt great. So here's my list. Please make any more suggestions on both the bad putting and good putting list because I'm going to give my putting a complete overhaul and want a good place to start from. So here goes...



    How I went from a great putter to a bad putter



    1. Tried to improve my putting technique so I would hole more short putts.

    2. Put pressure on myself to hole short putts.

    3. Had overly high expectations about holing putts.

    4. Got frustrated when I missed putts.

    5. Focused on the outcome too much and felt great if a putt when in and bad if not.

    6. Become overly hole focused.

    7. Didn't focus on one spot when making my putting stroke. Instead, let my mind and eyes wander.

    8. Didn't hold my follow-through but started steering putts.

    9. Putting became a chore and work.



    Ok, here's what I was doing when I was putting great...



    1. Loved putting.

    2. Enjoyed practicing putting and seeing the ball go in.

    3. Always thought I could hole a putt.

    4. Believed I was a great putter.

    5. Focused on one spot on the ball as I putted.

    6. Didn't get too upset at missing putts.

    7. Focused on the process of putting for the sake of rolling the ball and let the outcome take care of itself.

    8. Didn't focus on mechanics very much. Just tried to put a good roll on the ball.



    I'm sure there will be more things I can think of but that's it for now.



    So if you were a good putter and became bad please sure what mistakes you made. And if you're a great putter PLEASE share what you think you do that makes you great.




    I agree on the longer putts, so easy to get overly worked up and there needs to be so much more feel and confidence and puttin a good roll on the ball. But on the shorter putts (inside 5-7 feet) I was really struggling to get the feel going and be consistent especially in tournaments. Now I haven’t played in a tournament in a long time but after much practice I found I was steering with my right hand and pulling the heck out of short putts. The best remedy that I found was a very slow takeaway and then accelerating to the hole. It still works on puts long than 7 feet but the speed can be tough, but for short putts it has been a saviour to get that methodical more mechanical method. There just isn’t a big need for feel on the short putts (for me) and now I am much more consistent on those. Good luck to everyone, putting is fun but frustrating!
  • bober74bober74 Members Posts: 115
    RickAstley wrote:


    This is all very similar to what's in "Putting out of your mind" by Bob Rotella. Good, quick read if you want some affirmation to your ideas.




    Thanks. I have that book I'll have to read it again. Another couple of things I thought that I did to become a bad putter was to change putters and styles too often. A lot of great putters stick to one putter and one style. Also, something I did that helped me to become a bad putter was take too long over the ball.
  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,150 ✭✭
    I think it has a lot to do with shooting Lower scores. As in when you’re shooting 85-90 who cares of putts don’t go for par or bogey ? But when you’re shooting 70-75 suddenly it matters a lot to the idea of a good round or not. So you “must” make those par putts. That’s my experience anyway.
    TM Tour M6 11.2 * KK Tini XTS 70X
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  • bober74bober74 Members Posts: 115


    I think it has a lot to do with shooting Lower scores. As in when you're shooting 85-90 who cares of putts don't go for par or bogey ? But when you're shooting 70-75 suddenly it matters a lot to the idea of a good round or not. So you "must" make those par putts. That's my experience anyway.




    So you're saying that it largely comes down to expectations?
  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,150 ✭✭
    edited Sep 17, 2018 #7
    bober74 wrote:



    I think it has a lot to do with shooting Lower scores. As in when you're shooting 85-90 who cares of putts don't go for par or bogey ? But when you're shooting 70-75 suddenly it matters a lot to the idea of a good round or not. So you "must" make those par putts. That's my experience anyway.




    So you're saying that it largely comes down to expectations?




    I honestly don’t know. Lol. Two camps on that thought. I’m one who is results oriented. But today’s teaching says to be process oriented and not care what the result is. I struggle with this as I do care about the result. And it’s very hard to lie to myself.



    But yes. You need to try. Yes try. To focus on the process. Preshot etc and just let it go. And then work out a way to trick yourself into not caring when it doesn’t go in. My trick that works 97% of the time is to just smile and say “ x number of holes left no biggie “. When it doesn’t work is on say 16 and in. Then is when I struggle mentally. No way to make of up. Sorry. That’s all I have. It’s incomplete at best.
    TM Tour M6 11.2 * KK Tini XTS 70X
    Ping G410 15.5* Graphite Design ADDI 8x
    Ping G410 21* ADDI 105x 
    Ping Blueprint  3-PW   Modus 130X 
    Ping Glide Forged   54 60 S400
    Cameron GSS 009 1.5 tungsten sole weights, sound slot


  • bober74bober74 Members Posts: 115

    bober74 wrote:



    I think it has a lot to do with shooting Lower scores. As in when you're shooting 85-90 who cares of putts don't go for par or bogey ? But when you're shooting 70-75 suddenly it matters a lot to the idea of a good round or not. So you "must" make those par putts. That's my experience anyway.




    So you're saying that it largely comes down to expectations?




    I honestly don't know. Lol. Two camps on that thought. I'm one who is results oriented. But today's teaching says to be process oriented and not care what the result is. I struggle with this as I do care about the result. And it's very hard to lie to myself.



    But yes. You need to try. Yes try. To focus on the process. Preshot etc and just let it go. And then work out a way to trick yourself into not caring when it doesn't go in. My trick that works 97% of the time is to just smile and say " x number of holes left no biggie ". When it doesn't work is on say 16 and in. Then is when I struggle mentally. No way to make of up. Sorry. That's all I have. It's incomplete at best.




    Good thoughts. When I have putted my best I have wanted to hole the putt, obviously! But I have been heavily invested in the process and totally involved in putting a good stroke on the ball. Sort of irrelevant of holing the ball. It's like two minds. One is focused on the hole and the other is focused making a good stroke. When I putt badly I still know I want to hole the putt but the putting stroke is interrupted by trying to hit the ball in the hole.



    Don't know if that makes sense but it's what came to mind.
  • GautamaGautama Members Posts: 784 ✭✭
    Did you switch to a high MOI putter somewhere in there? I've got a completely unsubstantiated, "n of one" theory that some of these modern putters with stuff sticking off on every direction actually force an unnaturally straight path and throw off feel. Just my own experience, but when I went back to a basic anser style putter I really did feel much more free to just putt



    And yes I know it's a preposterous and groundless theory, but I'm sticking to it. No need to flame me lol.
    "I see the distorted swings, the hurried rounds, and now the electric carts tae ruin the course and rob us of our exercise...we have gone off the mark, gone after the wrong things, forgotten what it's all about"

    -Dr. Julian Sands, Golf in the Kingdom
  • bober74bober74 Members Posts: 115
    Gautama wrote:


    Did you switch to a high MOI putter somewhere in there? I've got a completely unsubstantiated, "n of one" theory that some of these modern putters with stuff sticking off on every direction actually force an unnaturally straight path and throw off feel. Just my own experience, but when I went back to a basic anser style putter I really did feel much more free to just putt



    And yes I know it's a preposterous and groundless theory, but I'm sticking to it. No need to flame me lol.




    I have tried every putter and style under the sun. That's one of the points I added on how I became a bad putter!

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