Buying A New Putter

Published 09/06/2011 07:41:00

There comes a time when your putting starts to get so bad you lose all confidence in your ability to put the ball in the hole. Every hole you play, you run the risk of screwing it up and adding "one extra stroke" on it because you've lost your putting stroke.


Maybe your whole game starts to suffer, as you put extra pressure on the rest of your game to get the ball closer to the hole to take pressure off your putting game. You try to drive it farther than you're capable, and end up hacking it out of deep rough. You gamble with your irons, risking trouble in bunkers. You try to chip it too close and end up going by too far. All because of the pressure put onto you by your lack of confidence in your ability to either make putts you should make, or get down in two from distances you should get down in two in.


Maybe you need putting lessons. Getting a tune-up on your fundamentals, getting the feel for distance, building a stroke that will stand up under pressure... all of these things will need to be addressed to improve your putting. But all the lessons, and practice, and all of that time spent, won't really help if the damn thing doesn't feel right. Maybe you need a new putter!



    There are new putters out there that can blow away some of the older models in terms of feel, weighting, balance. True, some golfers have their favorite older model where they've got that small sweet spot in the hitting area figured out just perfectly. To you, I suggest you stay with what works. But, fellow golfers, there are new hi-tech putters out there that can astound you with what they can do. Or, rather, what you can do with them. They feel perfect. Practically EVERYTHING you hit is on a sweet spot.



    It's got to feel right in your mind, as well as in your hands. You have to transfer the thought of "making the putt" to your hands, which are what controls the club, so that they make a stroke that will make the ball go in the hole. If the mind/hands/stroke process doesn't feel right, you WILL miss a lot of putts you should be making. You have to have a club that makes the mind think you will hit a shot that will go in.



    Otherwise, you will continue to reinforce the same bad habits and negative feelings. The mind needs to feel there's a reason for it to suddenly start thinking you will MAKE these crucial putts. The mind will think it's business as usual, and here come some more missed putts, IF you don't do something to change the downward spiral. Getting a new putter at least gives the mind a reason to think, "hey, maybe this new club will make a difference." Going back to one of your old putters can "fool your mind" into thinking you're a successful putter again. Or maybe getting a new grip on your existing putter can help, but SOMETHING must be done to change your mental state.



    Making putts consistently will make your mind think that you will make putts at crunch time in a round. How do you get the mind to think that way? One way is to practice at distances where you can't miss. Putt one footers if you have to, but regaining the feeling of making it all the time, without ever missing, is one road back to regaining confidence. Of course, you're goal is to practice making it from distances beyond gimme range, so go out further from the hole, make two footers, three footers, four footers consistently, and that will help you feel like you will make one of that distance next time one pops up in a round. Your goal is to regain confidence from those three to ten foot putts that need to go in OFTEN.



    There's a golfer I "know"... who had (see above) all of this bad stuff going wrong with his putting. Couple of three putt greens would pop up per round. Yeah, he could make the one, two and three footers. But, four, five, six? They were definitely maybes. Some went in, some didn't. Many didn't go in that should have. He got sick of seeing good ball striking rounds sabotaged by bad putting. Practice with the same putter he has used for each of the last ten years did not help. He'd still miss key putts during a round. Then he practiced with this new, hi-tech putter. It felt great. Everything seemed to either get real close, or some of those damn things went in. He bought an Odyssey mallet head putter. Now, he likes being on the green. Everything has a chance to go in. Pars are being saved, not blown. Three putts have vanished from the vocabulary. Putting is fun again. All, thanks to that new putter. And some practice, of course. But, he's sure it would have been "business as usual" had he not changed to the new, hi-tech putter.


    The money spent on this putter was worth every penny. Golf became more fun again. Probably four to five strokes per round were being saved by the couple of extra made putts per round, as well as the closer lag putts that resulted from a more confident stroke. The new putter helped breed success... which helped breed confidence... which helped lower the damn golf score!


    Think of where you fit in regarding these five levels of confidence as you stand over your next putt.

    1. You know it's not going to go in.
    2. You think it's probably not going to go in.
    3. You have no idea... it's a maybe. It could miss, it might go in.
    4. You think it will probably go in.
    5. You know it's gonna go in.
    If you are Level 1, 2 or 3, and you'd like to be Level 4 or 5, maybe you should think about getting a new putter. (And of course you should practice. And gracious sakes alive, take lessons if you're at Level #1) One of the best things about golf is the feeling that you are getting better. A new putter can help your putting, help you get better. And dare I say it, can even make you CONFIDENT about this game. Good luck.


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