Putting has been described as a "game within the game." Ben Hogan once said, "There is no similarity between golf and putting: they are two different games-one played in the air, the other on the ground." We as golfers need to develop a personal style and routine which we are able to repeat under game situations, and achieve our desired results.
To be a good putter there are two tasks you want to accomplish.
1. Roll the ball well- Rolling the ball well happens when the putter is swung smoothly, the ball is hit solidly and the speed takes the ball into or near the hole.
2. Roll the ball on line-Is the more detailed part of putting. Having good essentials, such as grip and setup, stance, aim and path will help us in rolling the ball on line.
For three drills that will help you roll the ball well, click on this link for Charlie's video putting lesson.
Having confidence in your putting plays a major roll. Practice short putts to build up confidence for the course. You want to practice drills that are specific to your needs. One example is Charlie's credit card drill.
Remember Tour Players don't make everything they look at. They focus on making a good stroke and having good speed control. I wanted to share some statistics from the PGA Tour that I found on-line. These statistics might surprise you and help you with your confidence.
Percentage of Putts Made by PGA Tour Professionals-
2ft 99% 8ft 47%
3ft 91% 9ft 43%
4ft 81% 10-14 ft 31%
5ft 70% 15-19 ft 19%
6ft 62% 20-24 ft 14%
7ft 54% 25 ft & greater 6%
Feedback is so important to improvement. To continue in finding the best ways to help our students improve, we have purchased a T.O.M.I. putting system. The Reynolds Golf Academy will be running a Winter Video Swing Analysis Special that includes the T.O.M.I. analysis from Feb. 16th through Feb. 28th. The analysis lasts 30 minutes and the cost is $30 by appointment only. Come have your putting stroke analyzed on our new putting analyzer. A university in South Florida had its golf team practice on a system similar to ours and the golf team improved their putting statistics by 25% during a three tournament stretch. For more information on our special please call 706-467-1660.
When Rob Akins and I wrote Golf's Red Zone Challenge in 2005, one of the goals was to turn the concept into a contest that would be popularized by a national television show. Part of this goal came to pass in August of 2008 when we taped the first Red Zone TV Show in conjunction with CCI Video out of Philadelphia.
The show was televised in select cities on Comcast Sportsnet. We just posted it in 6 ten minute segments on our website and here's the link. The 5 four person teams were put together by GolfTec (an indoor golf instruction company) in Philadelphia. They all took the Red Zone short game test 12 weeks prior to coming to Reynolds Golf Academy for the contest and TV show taping. The captain of each team was a pro from GolfTec who worked with them for the 12 week period. We tested them again when they got here to measure their improvement. One gentleman improved 150%!
Take a look at it. Because of the ability to fast forward, you can watch the whole show in no time. I'll be interested in your feedback.
January 1 usually brings us to contemplate and assess the previous year and make a plan for the year to come. I have been setting written goals since 1987 and have tried a variety of methods. A couple of key things have come from this that I want to share with you.
I now set goals in several areas: family, spiritual, career, economic, emotional, mental and giving. These are my main ones and I sometimes add a category here or there. Career is where I include teaching golf and my own golf game.
I brainstorm my potential goals in each area and write as fast as I can without prioritizing for 2 or 3 minutes per category. Once I do this for all my categories, I go back and pick my most important goals from each category and set a time frame (1 year or less, 3, 5, 10, 20). I record these in a section of my planner that is easy for me to look at on a regular basis.
All that being said, here is what I have found to be the key to reaching my goals: planning the process for reaching these goals. The way this has broken down for me is daily standards that I live up to that virtually insures my success.
When you dig deeper to figure out why you want your goals, it is because of the perceived emotions you receive from reaching the goal. An example would be a goal of winning the flight in your club championship or getting a new car. If you were to win your flight, you would feel satisfied and/or adulation. A new car would be a feeling of pride and new fun. When you break down why human beings do things, it comes down to desire for positive emotions or wanting to avoid negative emotions. I have consciously written down the emotions I like to feel on a daily basis, the emotions I perceive I would get by reaching my goals.
When I learned this, it led to a daily standard called Peak State. Three things determine your emotion or state: 1. Your physical movements 2. What you choose to focus on 3. Your beliefs and self talk. I use all three, but I have found controlling what I focus on to be the most effective. I start each day with a sense of thankfulness and gratitude by asking questions. Examples would be 'What do I have to be thankful for?' (Which is a lot), 'Who do I love and who loves me?', and 'How can I help someone reach their goals today?'. The answers to these questions lead to positive emotions. There are so many bad questions that most of us ask to ourselves 'Why am I so unlucky?', 'Why can't I ever get a break?' etc. which leads to mediocre or negative emotions. The problem has been that most of us don't realize it.
I am proposing to you that you set your goals for 2009 and then commit to the process of daily Peak State that leads to reaching your goals and gives you one of the secrets to life that I wish I had learned at a younger age. That secret is that emotion is what we are seeking and the goals we set (and hopefully reach) are the vehicles to feel the emotion. By knowing that the emotion is what you are truly after, you have tools (like good questions) to feel the emotions in advance and have fun as you move daily toward reaching your goals.
This is extremely important in the mental side of playing your best golf. I will talk more about this in a later post. Have a great 2009 and I hope there is a thought or idea that is helpful to you.
I hope your year is off to good start. I found this blog entry from Geoff Shackleford with a sampling of 2008 year in golf recaps
. Geoff's blog is interesting and he writes about the hot topics in golf. Take a look at a couple of these to remember 2008 and then let's make a plan for lower scores for our game in 2009 (I'll blog about goalsetting next week).