Minor Adjustments to Make Major Improvements
When your putting is just a little off, do you tend to overthink, or do you make a quick minor adjustment and then refocus?
A slight adjustment can go a long way. However, too many adjustments–leading to over thinking–can go the wrong way.
A minor adjustment requires a quick assessment and a decisive course of action.
For example, “I need to adjust my speed control.” The process is simple: define the problem. Find a quick solution. Trust and act on your decision.
The opposite of a quick adjustment is overthinking. Overthinking is debating potential courses of action, which complicates your game.
For example, “The greens are a bit slow. I’ve been leaving putts short all day. I need to hit the ball square and harder. But not too hard; the greens slope downward just past the hole. Maybe I should take a wider stance but not too wide.”
This process can take several minutes. Since your mind is being pulled in several directions, refocusing can become challenging. You can become very tight and hit the ball harder than desired.
Then, you must go through the whole process again for the next putt. The main issue is that you lack trust in your decision-making.
When you are not on top of your game, you may feel the urge to make too many changes. However, too many changes are often too much.
4 Keys to Making Adjustments:
The following strategy outlines an effective way to make minor adjustments to your game while playing.
- Fast – Once you have identified the problem, make a quick decision. Avoid debating the issue or mulling over every possible solution.
- Small – Don’t overhaul your game. The adjustment should be minor and easy to implement.
- Focus – Eliminate as many distractions as possible and fully immerse yourself in the game.
- Trust – Have confidence in your ability to make the adjustment successfully.
For example, at the 2022 LIV Golf Invitational-Chicago, Cameron Smith made a quick putting adjustment.
The adjustment proved effective as Smith finished round one with a birdie and a score of 66, three strokes behind the leader.
SMITH: “I made an adjustment out there the last five or six holes. I just wasn’t quite hitting them into the back of the hole. A little speed adjustment and a few started to go in.”
Quick, decisive actions help you feel in control. When you feel in control, despite missing a few putts, you will maintain high confidence and a laser focus when you re-engage in each shot.
Trust in your ability to make quick, productive decisions and to implement those solutions on the fly, contribute to peak performance during tournaments.
Practice the 4-step process for making in-game adjustments: quick decisions, small adjustments, refocus on your shot and trust your ability to be successful.
When you practice this strategy, you keep your game simple during a competitive round.
Practicing mental strategies creates confidence in your mental game.
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