When I find myself missing putts, I make sure to regain my focus on finishing the stroke instead of the result of the stroke. I focus on the finish while making the stroke for four reasons:
1. The putter-head will accelerate through impact more consistently when I finish the stroke. This acceleration usually will save me from making an uncommitted stroke.
2. When I set a goal to hold my finish, my confidence will gradually start to come back because I can reach this goal every time. I have found that the more I accomplish the goal of finishing my stroke, the more my confidence goes up. And, the more my confidence goes up, the more putts I make.
3. Thinking about the finish takes the focus off of my missed putts. If my primary goal is to finish the stroke instead of make the putt, I can easily move on after a missed putt. Don’t get me wrong, in my pre-shot routine, I do see myself making every putt. But, while I’m making the stroke, I have found it’s better to focus on the finish and let my subconscious mind take care of the rest. Which leads me to number 4:
4. Focusing on the finish gives my conscious mind a place to go while my subconscious mind takes care of making the putt. In the past, my tendency was to try to consciously guide the ball into the hole; especially when there was a tournament on the line.
Sometimes after a putt, I would think: “I probably could have done better if I hadn’t tried so hard.” I now know that this is actually true. If I put in enough practice time, my subconscious mind is able to perform better when I focus on something simple during the stroke. For me, that simple something is holding my finish.
Have fun holding your finish!