Do You Putt With Good Intentions?

Brian MooreBy Brian Moore,
PGA Instructor at
The Downs Golf Practice Facility

There are many different pieces that go into the puzzle of great putting, ranging from set-up, grip style, stroke preference (straight back-straight thru or arcing) to style of putter. These are the elements of putting that can actually be measured and where most instruction and attention is focused. All of these elements are certainly important to some degree, but, intent or conviction of one’s stroke may be the most important of all.

Have you ever had one of those days when just about every putt you faced seemed to find the bottom of the cup? Your confidence level with the putter grew more and more as the round progressed. Could it be that Tiger Woods had possibly taken over the controls of your body for the day? Chances are that on those magical days you had a very clear intent on what you wanted to do with each putt and then went ahead and did it without any mental static. You read the putt, made a decision on the line to take and then - without any thought of mechanics or doubt - you “sent” the ball down your intended line with absolute intent and a “convicted” stroke.

Lets go back to Tiger for just a moment. It seems that whenever he REALLY needed to make an important putt coming down the stretch of a big tournament he was somehow able to get the job done. Think about it for a moment. Tiger’s eyes casting a fiery hot gaze back and forth from the ball to the hole that seemed to burn a trail right into the cup. You could just sense that he was going to make it as you sat in suspense on the edge of your couch.

Guess what? Tiger knew it too. He waited to putt the ball until he was totally convinced that he had the right line and a clear “intent” in his mind’s eye. He then stroked the ball to where his intense gaze had been focused just moments before. No other thoughts such as “what if?” penetrated his mind at this time. Just a very intense awareness of where he wanted to send the ball.

So, just how do you get better at putting with clear intent and conviction? The same way that you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice! The next time that you go to the practice green, take one ball and set it 6-10 feet from the cup. Get behind the ball and low to the ground and “stare” it into the cup. Don’t get up until your minds eye can see the ball tracking across the green and into the cup. Address the ball and allow your eyes to track back and forth on your intended line from the ball to the cup. Take one last intense gaze at the edge of the cup and then use your instinct to “send’ the ball where you last looked.

Having good stroke mechanics is nice, but learning to putt with clear intent and a convicted stroke will help to mitigate little flaws in your stroke!

Brian Moore has over 10 years of teaching experience and has studied under several well known instructors including Jim McLean and Marius Filmalter. He is also a TOMI certified putting instructor. To schedule a lesson, call Brian at (813) 854-4946 or e-mail:


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