How to Overcome Putting Anxiety
Do you become increasingly nervous as you prepare to putt? Are you afraid of hitting bad shots while you address the ball?
Chances are that your thoughts are major distractions interfering with your body’s ability to make a confident swing.
Thinking too much about strategy, score, mechanics, weather, greens, spectators, previous shots, leaderboard, or results disrupt your body’s ability to swing your golf club freely, efficiently, and effectively.
In our Golf Mental Game Survey, one golfer brought up the topic of overthinking during competitive rounds:
“I freak out every time before I putt. I can’t stop thinking about messing up. I try to talk myself through my putts, but I still miss easy putts. How can I calm down during shots?”
Your nervousness sprouts from overthinking or ‘walking through your putts’ and worrying about the potential outcome of your shot.
You know that worrisome feeling when the “what ifs” invade your mind. It is, as if, you time traveled into the future and watched the worst shot you ever hit. When you think too much, you lose your touch.
Overthinking traps you in an overwhelming cycle of: thinking about what might happen… Coaching yourself through your mechanics… Reminding yourself of what NOT to do… Losing focus.
When you ‘freak out’ about your shots, your body tenses, you grip the putter harder, and you take extra time before you strike the ball. That delay before hitting the ball exacerbates the problem by giving you more time to over-think and over-analyze your shot.
When you panic about your shot, you signal to your brain that you are not ready for the putt. This thought distraction makes your stroke feel unnatural and forced, causing you to push the ball wide of the hole or leave the ball short.
The most effective way to overcome your anxiety is to take charge of your thoughts rather than allow your nervousness to take over your performance.
For example, PGA golfer Collin Morikawa has improved his putting game by tuning out thought distractions and immersing himself in the act of putting.
MORIKAWA: “It was just to be more of an athlete, be an athlete that reacts to your target. You look at all other sports, basketball, you think basketball, they’re always looking at their target. I thought of Jordan Spieth when I was putting, when he used to look at his target, he was reacting….”
“That’s all he does. He takes a couple quick looks, if you look at his pre-shot routine, a couple quick looks, doesn’t stand over it too long, but he’s committed and he just reacts to the target. And I think before I was so focused on speed or I was so focused on trying to hit this great putt that I just wasn’t reacting to what I was doing.”
Reacting or immersing yourself in your shot requires trust. Trust doesn’t magically happen when you play a competitive round.
Playing a round of golf is not the time to ‘fix’ your swing. Trust is developed in practice. When you have trust, you are hitting the ball with confidence.
Tips to Gain Trust in your Golf Game:
- You can’t think about the what ifs–what if I miss this putt.
- Focus on your routine when putting or hitting shots, not outcome.
- Over the ball, you must focus on the target on where you want to hit the ball or putt.
- Trust your muscle memory to hit the shot and avoid self-coaching or over thinking
Learn Proven Strategies to Perform with Confidence!
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hits, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition, so we’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge Workbook and CD program to help you do this!
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes the top 8 mental training sessions I do with my personal students to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency on the course.
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes 8 confidence-boosting CDs, MP3 audio recordings and an 8-session golfer’s mental edge workbook.
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!