One thing we can all agree on is how confidence plays a crucial role in enhancing a golfer’s performance. Confidence is the secret sauce that empowers players to conquer challenges on the course and bring out their best game. I am excited to share with you a tried-and-tested warm-up routine that will not only boost your putting confidence but also set you up for success on the first tee.
When it comes to putting warm-up, most people go about it totally wrong (and yes, I was one of them)
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. We arrive at the putting green, eager to start our round, and immediately begin hitting putts from around 10 feet away from the hole. With no proper routine or practice strokes, it’s no surprise that many of these initial putts end up being missed. It’s worth noting that even professional PGA Tour players only make about 4 out of 10 ten-foot putts while giving their best effort during a round.
Then, we proceed to attempt long, challenging putts from 30 feet away. Unfortunately, often we leave the first putt 3-feet short, followed by rolling the next one 5-feet past the hole. Finally, we roll one up there to 1-foot. We then try and tidy up the 5-footer, but miss it. We don’t bother hitting the 3-foot or 1-foot putts as we tell ourselves, “Those would be ‘good’ on the course.”
Building Confidence: The Winning Warm-Up Routine
Dr. Bob Rotella talked about how confidence in putting is all about seeing the ball go into the hole, regardless of the distance. To build that confidence, we need to change our warm-up approach. Let’s dive into a routine that will pave the way for a confident and successful putting performance:
- Start with Really Short PuttsGrab two or three balls and begin by making really short putts less than 3 feet from the hole. These are putts you have a 100% chance of making. Make 10 of these putts in a row.
- Lag Putts for FeelNow, move on and putt your three balls to a hole that is 25-30 feet away. This allows you to get a feel for the speed of the greens. But here’s the crucial part: don’t hit the second putt! Whether you end up too short or too long, it doesn’t matter. This warm-up isn’t practice; it’s about building confidence and dialing in your feel and speed control.
- Repeat the Lag Putts Find another 25-30 foot putt to a different hole and repeat the exercise, still only hitting the first putt.
- Final Lag PuttsFind one more 25-30 foot putt to a different hole. By now, you should have hit nine lag putts to three different holes, giving you some variation of uphill, downhill, and sidehill to adapt your speed control.
- Finish with ConfidenceComplete your warm-up routine by sinking five (or more, if you have time) of the short, guaranteed 100% make putts (aka less than 3 feet). By doing this, you’ll further reinforce your confidence and top up your “confidence jar” to the brim.
Confidence is the backbone of a successful game, especially when it comes to putting. Remember that your eyes and ears love seeing and hearing the ball go into the hole, regardless of the distance. By following this putting warm-up routine, you’ll have made 100% of the putts you expected to make, filling your confidence jar to the top!