Here are some fun putting drills that can really improve your putting consistency
I just spend two days with two amazing golf visionaries who I believe are creating the future of golf coaching.
Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott are well-known in the golf community as innovators and leaders, and have coached some of the best players in the world, such as Annika Sorenstam.
Lynn and Pia are co-creators of Vision54, a golf program that enables golfers to be their own best coach.
They also authored the best-selling books Every Shot Must Have A Purpose and The Game Before the Game.
The two days training was on the material in their third book, Play Your Best Golf Now.
I would like to share with you one of the most powerful tools from these two days.
1. PLAY BOX – The PLAY BOX is all about being present through your senses. The PLAY BOX is the period of time spent over the ball and during execution.
This is the most important time for any golfer. It is when we actually make our swing and connect with the ball with the intention of moving the ball to the target.
2. THINK BOX – THINK BOX is everything that happens in your pre-shot preparation before we step into the ball.
The main point is that we play our best golf when we are tuned into our senses and not tuned into our thinking mind while in the PLAY BOX.
Here are some examples of how you can be in your senses in the PLAY BOX:
- Listening to the sound of the putter stroking the ball.
- Feeling the contact of the putter face on the ball with your eyes closed.
- Seeing the line of your putt as a bright red line from ball to hole.
- Feeling a constant grip pressure on the putter.
- Feeling your centre of gravity being low and steady.
- Feeling a softness in your shoulders.
- Seeing a bright blue star at the entry point of the cup.
- Humming a tune.
- Seeing a big smile on the golf ball.
- Saying tick for the back stroke and tock for the forward stroke.
The key to optimal golf performance is to focus more on your senses as you make your golf swing or putting stroke. This strategy helps golfers to stop thinking unhelpful thoughts. Its also stops golfers from trying to control their swngs. Its been well established that when we can let our instinctive reactions perform the golf movement the result is better than trying to consciously control the movement. It’s a form of useful distraction for the mind while our unconscious mind and body make our stroke.
How many golfers are aware of which senses work best for them? Do you know which senses you should engage so you can play at your best?
I experimented during some putting drills and found that grip pressure and low center of gravity where good senses to engage for me. Also, seeing a clear visual target for the ball to enter the cup worked well for me.
We are all very different in terms of what works for us so experiment with all the possible sensory options in both your putting and also your long game as they may well be different.
I have suggested a simple drill for you to access your own putting sensory performance cues. Be aware to actually be with, or in the sensing, rather than thinking about sensing. It’s a subtle but profound distinction.
ACTION DRILL FOR PUTTING
- Print out the putting sensory PLAY BOX list above and score your self on how well you were able to stay with the sense. Play 5 balls with each sense and notice which ones you enjoyed the most. Determine which senses seem to work well for you.
- Try one or two of them during your next round of golf. Do you notice a difference in your performance ?
When we are in our thinking mind while we make our golf swing the quality of our performance suffers. This is well established hard science so it’s great news for golfers who want to improve their performance. “Being in your senses,” while in the PLAY BOX, is a skill that can be learned and improved. I will be using this drill to improve my sensorial experience and my golf game. How about you?
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