Putting Out Of Your Mind by Bob Rotella

Parker Klein ✌️
Published in
5 min readFeb 26, 2022


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The secret to putting is not in the stroke. It is in the mind. When you putt, your state of mind is more important than your mechanics.

Have a routine to always fall back on. David Duval’s involves a decisive read so he doesn’t second guess himself.

Great putting isn’t something you suddenly “get” and thereafter always have. It’s a longterm challenge that you have to work on every day.

You must love putting if you want to be a great putter. You must always look forward to the challenge of holing the next putt. At the same time, you can’t get wrapped up in putting statistics, or whether other people think you’re a great putter.

Your standards of putting must be your routine, observing your practice habits, and maintaining your attitude.

The difference is in catching yourself when your attitude wavers and getting it back to where it should be sooner.

The true business at hand on the green is rolling the ball into the hole.

Just think about the target and let the putt go.

“When you’re putting really well, you see a line. It’s like a baseball player who’s hitting really well and says the ball looks like it’s barely moving. Your vision is different.” — Billy Mayfair

Every great team in basketball has a good attitude, rebounds well, plays defense well, and shots free throws well.

No matter how skilled you are with the long clubs, you’re going to make roughly 40 percent of your shots with your putter.

If you putt well, it’s easier to hit all your other clubs.

“You have to feel that you are a great putter to be one. If you start to tell yourself that you can’t putt, you can bet your bottom peso that you won’t be able to get it in the hole from three feet.” — Lee Trevino

People tend to become what they think about themselves.

”On every putt, see the ball going into the hole with your mind’s eye.” — Gary Player

You should pick the smallest target you can focus on.

“I would like to be able to knock in as many putts as Billy does, but even more than that, I would like to be able to act like he does when he’s doing it — with an air of unconcern as to whether the putt drops or not.” — Arnold Palmer

The proper role for a strong will at this stage of putting is to support a firm belief in the golfer’s mind that all the preparation is done and the ball will go in the hole if he turns control of the action over to his subconscious.

Become relaxed, even nonchalant at the moment of truth.

Gain control by giving up control.

Putt as if you don’t care whether you make it or not.

Putt as if it has been preordained that the ball will fall no matter how you stroke it.

The main reason trying too hard doesn’t work is that it almost invariably diminishes the chance of making a good stroke. It introduces doubt to the mind. It tightens the muscles. It robs a player of his natural talent and destroys his rhythm and flow.

Take your satisfaction not from whether the putt drops but from whether you got yourself into the right frame of mind before you hit it. Make the putt in your mind.

Expect the ball to go in the hole, but understand it sometimes won’t.

Getting in your own way means permitting something extraneous that you generate to interfere with putting your best.

Look at the target, look at the ball, and then let the stroke go, with no delay between those three movements.

Most putts aren’t that complicated.

You putt best when you’re feeling loose, decisive, and confident.

The climactic part of a good routine is very simple: putt to make it.

Remember that it’s how you respond to your misses that matters, not whether you miss. You can choose to be angry about your misses or you can choose to accept them.

Anger is the enemy of focus.

Calmness says a player has too much confidence in his putting to get upset over a miss.

You’re human. You’re going to make mistakes. Golf is a game of mistakes, and that makes it a game that will beat you up mentally if you let it. You might as well have some compassion for yourself. From compassion comes forgiveness and from forgiveness comes forgetting. The only constructive thing you can do about a missed putt is to forget it.

It is best to maintain a low, consistent level of intensity through good shots and bad because the calmer you are and the quieter you keep yourself, the easier it is to play the game.

“Tension and anxiety cause more misses than lack of care.” — Bobby Jones

The game should be learned from the green back to the tee. Learn to get the ball in the hole first, and only later worry about how to get it off the tee and up to the green.

Pressure doesn’t really exist.

“The proper mental approach to a long putt is, ‘I’m going to hole this one by making the ball fall just over the front edge of the cup.’” — Cary Middlecoff

The last thing you want to do if you’re trying to make putts is worry about the speed.

If you think the putter you’re using will help you, it probably will.

Do not worry about the perfect stroke. Focus exclusively on the target.

Great putters make a conscious effort not to think about mechanics at all.

If you allow your brain and the nervous system to perform at their best, without interference from your conscious mind, they can do some remarkable things.

Fall in love with the stroke you have. It’s more than good enough to get the ball into the hole.

Practice wisely. Practice in ways that build confidence.

There’s nothing better for your confidence and your putting than seeing balls go in the hole time after time.

If you’re solid from two to five feet, it makes it so much easier to make your longer putts. You can stroke them more confidently.

Do you love putting on whatever sort of green you encounter?

Do you welcome the challenge of putting?

Do you take pride in how free and confident you are with your putter?

Do you execute your mental and physical routine on every putt?

Do you refuse to let missed putts bother you?

Do you always putt to make it?

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Parker Klein ✌️

Codin' 👨‍💻 + oatin' 🥣. Formerly @Google @Qualcomm @PizzaNova. Building the best place to write *things* down: Twos (www.TwosApp.com)