The Top Ten Mental Game Tips For Better Putting

1. Never take the second putt on the practice green.

If you miss it, you get to experience the three putt, which you simply don’t need in practice.

2. When you’re practicing, try putting with your eyes closed

And them guess where the putt finished. Was it short-right? Long-left? Or in the hole?! Besides being quite a fun thing to do, over time, this will massively improve your feel.


3. Don’t drop 3 balls on the practice putting green and putt from the same spot.

You need to reinforce the feeling of “I only have one chance” like you do on the golf course. 3 balls gives us the same feeling as we have on the driving range, where we get too comfortable, knowing we always have another shot. You need to feel and practice under a little pressure.

4. Practice using a smaller hole.

Try putting a tee in the green so it covers one third of the hole. Then putt to this hole. I find this good to do before a round. After putting to a small hole for 5-10 mins, it’s amazing how much bigger the hole looks when you’re out on the course.

5. When reading the green, use all your senses

In addition to using your eyes, try to sense the ground under your feet as you walk round the ball (don’t just look at a putt from behind the ball). It’s amazing how much more you’ll learn about the putt for both line and speed.

5. Pick your spot for accurate alignment

Once you have committed to a line, pick a spot you want the ball to roll over 6 inches in front of the ball. Alignment is so key with putting, that starting a putt just a fraction off line will cause the ball to miss the hole by inches. Knowing the putter face is aligned correctly will improve confidence and give you a more positive stroke.

7. Play the putt with your practice strokes

With your practice strokes, instead of making them a general practice of your putting, actually play the upcoming putt in your mind. With each stroke, imagine the ball coming off the face and rolling towards, and into, the hole. This will increase your confidence by visualizing the ball going in, and give you a sense of the speed of the putt.

8. Develop a very strong pre-shot routine, which you stick to every time.

If you break or miss any of the steps, START OVER!!! Putting is a game of confidence and knowing you have done everything correctly will give you that confidence you need to hole more putts. Do everything the same down to the number of practice strokes.

9. If you stand over the ball and second guess the line (or anything else), step away immediately and go through your pre-shot routine again

You will kick yourself afterwards and create negative emotions. Only when you are 100% sure, should you pull the trigger.

10. Get zoned in

Once you are over the ball and you have gone through your routine, your body and mind know the speed and line. Focus only on your “spot” and hitting the ball in the center of the putter.

Try these and please share a comment about how you get on!

Get The Golf State of Mind Putting System


Photo by Idovermani

Free Mental Game of Putting Course


David MacKenzie

is a mental golf coach and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind, a teaching program designed to help golfers condition their minds to overcome fear and play with confidence.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. blank
    Troy Vayanos

    Some good tips there David,

    I particularly can relate to tip number 9. This is something that I see the pro’s do quite regularly on tour. I know this has happened to me many times.

    I think it actually takes a bit of courage to stop, walk away and start over again.


  2. Pingback: Golf Putting Instructions: Establish A Consistent Routine

  3. blank
    David MacKenzie

    That’s definitely a big difference between pros and amateurs, the shot preparation and not pulling the trigger until everything is perfect and you have nothing but a positive intention. A good routine which you back out of and start over if there is any doubt or negativity is key.
    Thanks Troy, as always, appreciate your comments.

  4. blank

    The ten tips for putting routine were brilliant – sequential, thorough, well thought out and ‘doable’. No. 8 teaches the worth of a routine (similar to all golf strokes, of course). Thanks for all ten.

    1. blank
      David MacKenzie

      Bernard, thanks for reading! Glad they are helping. We have a great free webinar coming up at the beginning of may, so if you want to sign up either to the facebook page or newletter, i’ll keep you up to date. Enjoy the weekend!

  5. blank
    The Grateful Golfer

    Well Done! Your putting tips are very good. I appreciate the fact that I am not the only one to break one of your suggestions. I particularly like number 6. It develops confidence and focus needed for putting. Thanks for sharing.

    The Grateful Golfer

  6. Pingback: Golf State of Mind | Mental Game of Golf Training

  7. blank
    mike d

    excellent advice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *