A-Z Putting (V): Visualisation

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Why visualising can help with your success on the greens

When you give your brain a clear picture of what it is you are trying to achieve, it can get to work on creating the appropriate movements to deliver success. This is why visualising is such a potent weapon on the greens. Here are two ways you can improve your own ability to picture the perfect putt.

This tip comess from TG Top 50 coaches Gary Nicol and Karl Morris. Gary and Karl have years of experience coaching everyone from beginners to Major winners. Karl's company The Mind Factor works closely with TPEGS Ultimate Golf Experiences, run by Gary and Andrew Coltart at Archerfield Links

Visualise the Channel

Instead of picturing one, thin line to the hole, picture a 4.25 inch channel. Suddenly your line has gone from being as thin as a razor's edge to as wide as the hole itself. What would be easier, putting along the tightrope, or putting down a 4.25-inch-wide channel? You might find it helpful to think of your line as a gutter.

Further, focusing on such a thin line puts your attention almost entirely on line, whereas giving yourself the entire width of the hole frees up your mind and your muscles and allows you to focus on pace. Some 99 per cent of our students had never visualised the line being as wide as the hole. But once they started to see that wider, thicker line, they were amazed at how easy it is to hole putts; you will be too.

Pace Creates Line

When they picture a putt in their mind's eye, most club players prioritise line. In truth the reason they don't hole more putts is because they are not getting the pace right. PACE IS KEY AND PACE IS KING. PACE GIVES YOU OPTIONS. Pace determines line. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that without pace, the line does not or cannot exist.

The case for prioritising line over length is ultimately a simple one. In order for the ball to go in the hole, it has to have a relationship with momentum and gravity. If the ball is travelling with too much momentum, then gravity cannot take its effect. Too little momentum and the ball won't reach the hole.

We are not advocating that line isn't important – of course it is. We are, however, saying that the correct line on any given putt is directly influenced by the correct pace. So when you visualise a putt, work on picturing its speed first and its line second, as a consequence of its speed.