Of course, you may not necessarily want to avoid them. After all, who amongst us doesn’t want to improve?
However, the right time and place to receive such valuable nuggets is when you’re ready for them – not when you’re over your fourth short putt of the round and have yet to sink any of them, or when you’re standing on a tee trying to focus on a steady swing that won’t result in a slice into the beckoning water or trees by the side of the fairway.
I thought I’d drop my favourite tip in here, so you can read it whenever you like (and not when it’d be as welcome as Nigel Farage at a foreign HIV patients convention).
I can’t claim credit for the advice – I think it comes from Bob Rotella. It concerns how to judge how hard you should hit the ball on the putting green and can be summed up in four words – don’t think about it.
Essentially, putting successfully relies on hitting the ball on the right line and at the right pace to drop into the hole.
The tip is to halve the amount you have to work out by ignoring the pace. Leave that to your brain.
When you pick up your playing partner’s ball after a gimme and throw it back to them, you don’t stop to calculate distance, trajectory or wind speed and direction. You just throw it and invariably it reaches them. Your brain automatically calculates what needs to be calculated, transfers the information to your arm and voila!
The beauty of this tip is it can be tried out on the practice putting green rather than in the heat of battle. Give it a go. Just line up putts of varying distances and hit the ball. I think you’ll be surprised at how good you are at judging the distance. Which just leaves you to work out the line…
Anyway, that’s my best tip. It works for me and you’re welcome to it.
Now it’s your turn. What gem of advice works for you?