Have you noticed how some people can just walk onto a green, take a cursory glance around and then hole a simply unbelievable breaking putt? I don’t know if you’ve holed one or two like that yourself. I’m sure you have, if you cast your mind back. It happens with other shots as well. Think about that amazing horseshoe chip that Tiger Woods holed on the 16th at the Masters a few years ago. Even with all his talent, I’m sure he didn’t honestly expect to hole it, but I suspect that he did intend to. That’s more than enough direction for the unconscious instinctive mind to work on, unhindered by doubt.
The older they get, the more golfers tend to forget how easy putting really is. They also forget how good they used to putt when they were younger and more carefree. You often hear the golf pundits on television talking about how some or other up and coming young professional hasn’t yet learned how difficult putting really is. They sometimes go on to talk about how the accumulation of years of missed putts slowly frazzles the nerves and undermines the confidence of the older and more experienced golfers. Maybe that’s how they justify their own inability to maintain their competitiveness on the tour. It’s small wonder that they’re now commentating rather than playing.
I work regularly with an American Senior Professional Golfer and the first time we met was in a practice round for the British Senior Open Championship. He explained that he couldn’t read greens very well. It was a major problem for him and put unnecessary added pressure on the rest of his game.
After walking a few holes with him in his final practice round, I noticed that there was a little white cross painted on each of the greens. I guessed that these were to show the greens staff where to cut the holes on the first round of the tournament, the next day. So I suggested to my client that it would be worth rolling a few balls to these marks to get the feel of these pin positions. As he’d been practicing with several balls and to save time, I suggested that he walked in a 20 foot circle around these “holes” and rolled a few balls by hand to them. It was a lot quicker than putting them, as he didn’t bother to line them up.
I kept quiet for the first few greens where he tried this and just let him do this without much conscious thought. Then I pointed out to him that around 40 percent of the balls he’d rolled this way would have gone in the hole and the rest had finished within 12 inches of the white mark. He burst out laughing when I asked him if he was still sure that he couldn’t read greens. He could when he didn’t try too hard consciously!
Why don’t you try it out for yourself? It’ll confirm how good you really are at reading greens unconsciously and instinctively. All you have to do is to roll a few balls on a few greens. It’s a great way to reinforce the “Reading your Putts Instinctively” golf hypnosis track in my Own the Putting Green ” programme.
Own the Putting Green
Own the Putting Green ” is one of my most popular programmes and is used by many of my professional clients to very good effect. The programme addresses putting confidence and belief in your putting, as well as learning `to trust your instinctive green reading abilities.
The programme won’t teach you how to putt or how to read greens. What it will do is help you to make the most of the unconscious, instinctive putting abilities you already have.