Pressure-Proof Putting

WHAT IT IS: A putting lesson

WHAT IT'S FOR: To stop choking

When you miss a putt inside 10 feet, it's common to think you "choked." Don't be so hard on yourself. It's very difficult to make a good stroke if you're worried about the outcome of the putt. Think about the process (speed and line) instead and you'll be surprised how many more putts you'll sink.

Try this routine the next time you feel the heat on the greens...

1. Crouch down behind the ball and look at the line of the putt. Pick out an aiming point at the apex of your line. (Hint: Putts break more on faster greens.)
2. Make a few practice strokes while looking at the hole, which will help you get a feel for how hard to stroke the putt.
3. Step into your address and try to stay in the present (make a good stroke) rather than worrying about the future (will it go in?) to build confidence. Stroke the ball over your aiming spot and be ready to see the putt drop into the hole. If you miss you'll know that you did all you could.

Todd Anderson is director of instruction at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
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