Its because of pressure. The mind wanders, doubt creeps and our focus escapes us.
The fact that McIlroy held it together and dominated for an entire 72 holes, under US Open conditions and major championship pressure…is sick!
We heard a little bit about the work he’s been doing with Dave Stockton Jr to improve his putting. I couldn’t help but notice something he did all weekend that might have had a lot to do with his success.
PGA Tour players are known for slow play and deliberate preparation over every single shot. When I saw Rory efficiently read his putt, address the ball with no practice strokes, and hit it after a few rhythmic glances at the hole, I took notice.
His routine was surprising brief, yet rhythmic and complete at the same time. He didn’t seem like he was rushing, but it was quick.
A brief and rhythmic routine can decrease the chances of negative thoughts or other distractions that steal your focus. I can’t help but believe McIlroy’s use of a brief and consistent routine aided him in keeping it together for 72 solid holes.
We’re creatures of habit and creating an iron clad pre-shot routine allows us to exploit that. It doesn’t need to be anything extensive either, as McIlroy proved.
Develop Your Efficient Routine In Two Steps:
1) CONCLUDE On A Target – The goal of everything you do before you hit your putt is to determine where you want to aim. If you aren’t CONCLUDING on a target, you aren’t using your pre-shot routine efficiently. Find a target and go.
2) Establish Your Rhythm – After you have your target, everything is easy. Get comfortable behind the ball, and focus on your target. Do whatever you need to do to setup to the putt and feel confident. Rory used a few glances at his target, yours might be a bit more. The key is to find your rhythm and do whats comfortable. But keep it as brief as it needs to be!
What McIlroy did was impressive. The work he put in to find his rhythm and the focus he had to stick with it was key. Go out to the putting green, find your rhythm and you might find quicker is simpler, Rory definitely did.
What success or failures have you had with developing a solid putting routine? Do you do the same thing every time? If yes, what did you do to develop it? Let us know in the comments.