“Exactly,” I exclaimed. It hit him like a tonne of bricks. Oh I get it. Bob Rotella calls it, ‘Putting out of your mind.’ When we throw a ball or something, we don’t even think about it, it is using our hand-eye co-ordination. You don’t have to practice hours on end to develop great touch, just use your instincts, those same instincts you use on a daily basis.
So this is what I got him to do. Instead of standing over the ball and thinking so mechanically minded, I need to hit the ball so hard for that length of putt, I got him to simply close his eyes and get him to throw the ball to me again. First visualise or imagine where my hand is, get a clear picture and just throw it. Not surprising he landed the ball in my hand with the eyes closed, with ease.
Now relating that to the putt, I got him to set up to the ball, look at the hole and close his eyes after he got a picture in his mind where the hole was and then just hit the ball to the hole. The effect was immediate, he couldn’t believe it. I told him if you want to learn to play golf consistently, then look a the things we do on a daily basis – keep it simple and natural.
If you want to see a great example of this, watch junior golf. They don’t stand over it and think about it all day long. They just stand up, look and react. So the trick here is when you are out on the course, don’t think how hard do I hit it, think where the hole is and react to it.
Shane played the back nine with his eyes closed whilst putting and putted better than he ever had. I’m not suggesting you do that all the time, it was just to prove the point. He wasn’t thinking technique any more, just thinking where, not how. He started to tap into his instincts and found it less mentally taxing as well.
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Until next time;
Enjoy your game. Cheers. Jim Kennedy