Fearless Golf!

Play with a better mind and shoot lower scores

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Be confident

Even high-handicappers are expected to drain these easy four-footers, right? Well, then why are we so fearful of them? Usually, it's a confidence issue, a lack of acceleration and too much head movement in the stroke, meaning you should make a smooth, accelerating stroke and try to hear the ball drop before you lift your head and see where it went. The next time you practice, grab five to six golf balls and keep putting from four feet until you hear all the balls find the cup. It will work wonders for your ability not only to make a more aggressive stroke, but it will help you stay in the proper putting position and avoid the temptation to look up midway through your forwardstroke.

David Woods, PGA, is the Director of Golf at The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, California, one of the finest private clubs in America. He's also the former coach of Masters champion Mike Weir.


Imagine you're in a situation to shoot a low score, but you feel nervous to hit what's usually a very easy putt. If you stay focused on "What if I miss?" you'll lose the proper focus to execute a solid stroke.

Consider embracing the preshot process instead. This involves going through an effective routine that's focused on the speed and line you intend to stroke the putt. Be as specific as possible as you see the ball enter the cup. Take the few extra seconds to visualize the putt going in right before you take the putt back. React to a clear picture of what you want instead of thinking about all the possible outcomes. Then trust your line and roll it in!

Rick Sessinghaus Psy.D, PGA, is known as "Golf's Mental Coach" and is the author of Golf: The Ultimate Mind Game. He's based in Los Angeles, Calif., and his website is www.RickSessinghaus.com.


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