As you would expect this book is all about putting - what to do and what not to do mentally. In a nutshell the key points are; trust yourself, go with your first instinct, that generally poor putting is not a result of a poor stroke, and you will improve as a putter if you commit to improving. This is something that most club golfers inherently know Better golf comes from a better positive mindset. He provides some practical tips that can easily be followed and implemented but need commitment to push out bad habits and thoughts. POOYM gets 4 one putt greens out of 5.
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About The Book This old adage is familiar to all golfers but is especially resonant with Dr. In Putting Out of Your Mind, Rotella offers entertaining and instructive insight into the key element of a winning game—great putting. He here reveals the unique mental approach that great putting requires and helps golfers of all levels master this essential skill. While most golfers spend their time trying to perfect their swing so they can drive the ball farther, Rotella encourages them to concentrate on their putting—the most crucial yet often overlooked aspect of the game.
Great players are not only aware of the importance of putting, they go out of their way to master it, and mastery can only begin with the understanding of the attitude needed to be a better putter.
Excerpt Chapter One: The Heart of the Game Putting -- a game within a game -- might justly be said to be the most important part of golf. Tiger Woods, playing a group ahead of Billy, had just birdied the final hole to take a one-stroke lead. Tiger was charging. He had birdied three of the last four holes. Billy had not birdied it all week and he did not reach it in two strokes on this occasion.
He hit his three-wood into a bunker to the right of the green. But Billy then hit a nice explosion shot to about five feet. He made that putt to force a play-off. Even then, it was all but assumed that Tiger would win the play-off, which began on the same par Tiger hits the ball much longer than Billy, whose length off the tee is about average for the PGA Tour. That putting stroke was what initially brought Billy and me together.
Billy grew up in Phoenix. From the time he started playing golf, he enjoyed putting. He had little choice. The only thing a kid could do for free at Papago Park was putt and chip around the big, crowned practice green.
So Billy did, five days a week after school. He developed into a very good putter. Even though he never hit the ball enormous distances, he won a lot of junior tournaments. He won the U. Public Links. Billy did not take the putter straight back and bring it straight through the ball. He drew the club back outside the target line -- the line he intended for the ball to travel as it left the putter blade. As he started his forward stroke, it looked as if he would pull every putt to his left.
But at the last instant, Billy straightened his blade until it was perpendicular to the target line. And he made a lot of putts that way, even though the purists who saw him insisted he was cutting the ball, coming across it from right to left. All he knew was that he had a putting stroke that got the ball in the hole. He assumed it was a stroke that went straight up and down the line of the putt. When Billy got out on the Tour in , he did quite well. He made enough money to keep his playing card in and moved up to twelfth on the money list in But then he started to slip.
He developed problems with his short game, especially his putting. One reason, Billy now thinks, is the way Tour courses are equipped. Every one of them has a big practice range with grass tees.
On every practice range there is an unlimited supply of fresh golf balls -- real ones, not range balls. For a kid from Papago Park who could never afford to hit all the balls he wanted, this was all but irresistible.
Billy started to spend more of his practice time working on his full swing. At the same time, he started to listen to the critics of his putting stroke. There were so many of them he decided they had to be right, and he set about trying to give himself a classic putting stroke, straight back and straight through.
This was what he thought he needed to break into the ranks of tournament winners. A player who starts spending too much time on his full swing and not enough on his wedges and chips will soon find himself facing longer putts for par. Even the best players hit, on average, only thirteen or so greens per round.
In fact, when Billy first came to see me in , he told me he had developed a case of the yips. His scores were going up. He was in danger of losing his card. What he had, I thought, was not the yips. I suggested that Billy stop trying to fix his putting stroke. It had never been broken. I just wanted him to think about his target and let the putt go. Billy did. He went on to win his first Tour event in and to build a solid career for himself.
He won the Tour Championship in at Southern Hills on some of the fastest greens in the country. All of that history was on my mind as I watched that Nissan Open play-off begin. That meant the hole was probably going to be decided with wedge shots and putts.
The challenge of making a putt to win, to set a personal record, is what golf is all about. The best and smartest of them realize something else as well. Putting is fun. Billy drove into the fairway and hit his second shot about eighty-five yards from the green. He left his second thirty yards away. It hit about eight feet behind the hole and spun back, coming to rest about six feet away. Tiger hit his pitch past the hole and left himself a fifteen-foot birdie putt. He sank to his knees, chagrined.
Billy used the time he had while Tiger went through his putt-ing routine. He walked around his putt, checked out everything he could see. But he had known from the time he stepped onto the green what this putt was going to do. It would be uphill. It would be straight. Your vision is different.
I saw my line, just right of dead straight. I had a pretty good idea in the back of my mind how hard to hit it.
Putting Out of Your Mind. Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen
Putting Out of Your Mind