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The Second Putt Mindset

All golfers have had the frustrating experience of having their momentum stalled in a round by an untimely 3-putt caused by rolling their first putt by the hole a bit too firmly, leaving them a come-back second putt an uncomfortable distance, usually between about 3 to 6 feet.
 
Often in this situation, players (of all skill levels) proceed to change their mindset on this second putt. The fear of three-putting can have a massive effect on the player’s mindset, often making them significantly more tentative and/or results-oriented.
 
Interesting is the common thread among players in this situation, when asked if that 3-6 foot putt was for their first putt, (for birdie, for example) is the reply that they would often experience very little, if no fear, and thus a stroke that is not tentative and more process-oriented; a mindset quite different from the second-putt scenario. Most also report that they feel their success rate on the first-putts in the 3-6 foot range is noticeably higher than on second-putts in the same range.
 
We see a lot of players on the busy practice green at Morgan Creek who practice the 3-6 foot putts diligently. I would contend that many are most often practicing their 3-6 foot “first-putts”, or at least with that “first-putt” scenario in mind.
Maybe adding a practice scenario into the mix where a challenging enough first-putt (longer or large-breaking putts), resulting in sufficient practice on the 3-6 foot “second-putts”, can help players improve their mindset on these putts to more closely resemble that of the “first-putts” from this range?
 
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this or any golf topic. Feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Good Golfing!
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3500 Morgan Creek Way, Surrey, B.C. V3Z 0J7
604.265.9415