This week I am checking in from Midland, Texas, at the WNB Golf Classic on the Nationwide Tour. I have several students out on the Nationwide including Matthew Goggin [pictured], Matt Weibring, Matt Every and Danny Lee so I try to get out to at least three or four events every year.
During tournament weeks, the mindset of my Tour pro students falls into one of two camps. I have named these mindsets “preservation” and “improvement.” (For the record, there is a third mindset that I refer to as “Leave me alone, Marius! I am putting great,” but that does not really need to be discussed.)
In “preservation” mode, the player is comfortable with his current putting stroke and is seeking my advice as merely an avenue to boost their current confidence or possibly looking for a small swing thought or putting trigger to help them continue to roll their putts well. In “improvement” mode, the player is willing to make changes because what they are currently doing or feeling with the putter is not correct.
On Tuesday, I spent some time with Will Claxton addressing a putter-path issue that was significant enough for Will to ask my advice. Will was cutting across the ball, which makes it very difficult to be a consistently good putter. We worked to get Will to feel more like he was hooking his putts, which he was able to do in a relatively short period of time.
I understand many of you will read this and think, “Thanks for writing about the obvious, Marius.” OK, but stop and think about your own game. I know that many of you have been struggling with your game as you were about to play in your club championship or maybe a state tournament. So what should you do? Well, most of you will reach out to your local PGA professional, which is what I would recommend 100 out of a 100 times, BUT only if you approach that lesson with the correct mindset.
What do I mean by “correct mindset”? Evaluate the severity of your current level of struggle. This is the time to be honest with yourself. If you are a good player who is maybe missing more fairways to the left than normal, approach your PGA professional with a “preservation” mindset. That means you aren’t making a major change but something simple, such as weakening your grip or maybe changing your alignment. These changes can be made without damaging your confidence.
On the other hand, if you are struggling greatly with your putting before a big event, you need to decide whether you have enough time to feel comfortable playing under pressure after making a major technical change. If you are certain that a change must be made to give yourself the best chance to succeed, then approach your change under an “improvement” mindset.
Thanks for all the emails, folks. Please keep them coming to email@example.com. Also, you have only a couple more weeks to order the Automatic Putting Package for the promotional rate of $59.95. After Oct. 15, it will return to $99.95. Please visit mariusgolf.com for more details.
Until next time…cheers! (Photo: Ron Metz/Icon SMI)