Saturday, August 15, 2009

Any Made Putt is a Good One

Watching the PGA Friday afternoon reminded me yet again about how frustrating putting can be.

I understand that the greens at Hazeltine are a mixture of bentgrass and poa annua, an unpredictable mix that can be smooth in one spot, bumpy in another. Let the wind dry out the greens, add in some tricky pin placements... there is no amount of science or practice that can give you consistency under such circumstances.

Some of the putts I saw curled their way into the hole, rather than dropping in the center. You can almost hear the crowds go "OOOOH!" when those putts drop, as if it was only luck that they fell. That's not true at all. The important thing to remember is that, on all but the straightest of putts, there is a variety of line/speed combinations you can hit that will sink that putt. Some will cause the ball to motor straight in with a lot of speed, while others will send it curling in the side door as it runs out of steam. When you make one of those, rather than telling yourself that you were just lucky, you should compliment yourself for successfully finding one of the correct combinations. All you were trying to do is give the putt a chance to go in, and it did.

Any made putt is a good one. Rather than criticizing the successes when they come, enjoy them!

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