Statistically the most influential and important part of the Golfers arsenal is his putter and the ability to make it work properly for him or her.
How many times have we seen major championships decided because certain players had problems with their short game?
Amateurs and Professional Golfers alike all suffer every now and then from the dreaded nerves brought by the inability to cope with successfully negotiating three-foot puts.
As I mentioned, punting is probably the greatest leveller in golf. Not everyone can smash a ball 3 – 400 yards down the fairway, not everybody can master the correct technique to dig themselves out of the rough on regular basis.
But, if you cannot master the above techniques to the standard that the other professionals at the moment can the one area of the course that you can very successfully play catch-up is when it gets round to putting.
Punting probably more than any other aspect of golf has seen the strangest techniques and the weirdest collection of clubs. How many times have we seen some of the worlds finest players adopting some of the daftest practices when they walk onto the green. Do we all remember the fashion at one time when it was cool to be seen putting with a club that has an elongated handle and had to be balance using the golfers chin.
Off the top of my head I can think of at least two of Europe’s top golfers who at some point have used this technique, Scotland’s Sam Torrance and Germany’s Bernhardt Langer.
But probably if you were to ask a couple of top golf coaches and sports psychologists will they felt was going wrong with these golfers the moment they hit the grain, I would wager the majority of these advisers would come back and say it all revolves around one word tension with a Capital T.
The technique or one of the techniques that sports psychologists use to overcome this is to regulate the briefing. Possibly the master of this technique on the professional tour today, is the South African golfer Ernie Ells.
Not called The Big Easy for nothing, Ells secret lies with the fact that he believed deeply, calmly and serenely. This affects the pace he plays golf and his overall mental agility and awareness.
The next time you get a chance to watch Ernie Ells play, watch his relaxed style. Internally and mentally at times I am sure he is reacting like every other golfer in the game and he is probably have been just as many mental battles as the rest of us. The reason he probably manages to overcome quite so many of these battles is that he does not allow mental anguish to a variety his physical approach and style.
So how can we mere mortals emulate this style? Simple, regulate your breathing. When you walk onto the green use a three step technique.
Step one, breath in through your nose to the count or four. Step 2 Breathe out through your nose to the count of four. Step three, relax and take your put.
Go on give it a try, surprise your self.