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Committing to a Positive Putting Attitude
by Robert K. Winters, B.S., M.A., RPH

In today's fast-paced commercial world, it is human nature to be skeptical, cynical, and give in to the seduction of negative thoughts and emotions! The trouble with negative thinking is that if you buy into it, it almost always works! Apply this to putting and when you're on the putting green, if you think you're going to miss, you usually do. If you use the negative approach, you don't even get a chance to hit your first putt before your golfing day is over. The problem then becomes that your poor putting attitude carries over into the rest of your golf game and what started out as a promising round, ends up as another disastrous day on the links.

However, starting your day with a positive putting attitude at least gives you the opportunity to see how great a putter you can be. Thus, it remains imperative to your putting success to stay enthusiastic and keep your thoughts and self-talk upbeat and positive. Never, ever criticize yourself or be judgmental of your putting prowess (or lack of it) on any day. Have a goal for yourself as you drive through the front gates to the golf course that you are going to believe in your putting ability for the entire day. Remind yourself that your task is to stay focused on rolling the ball at the proper speed and on the target line that you select from behind the ball. Finally, become accepting of your endeavors on the green versus criticizing yourself and turning into your own worst enemy. Tell yourself that you will stay patient and not become upset even when the putts don't drop. (Just by using this strategy alone will help your putting success immeasurably). LPGA Tour star Helen Alfredsson puts this issue in great perspective: "I know that I am going to miss putts, but I am going to miss them while trying to make them!" This type of attitude has allowed Helen to know that on each putt, her mind is focused on making putts and that she can accept whatever happens. You need to adopt this type of attitude as well.

The law of dominantf dominant thought: You become what you think about most of the time! Think about becoming a great putter.

May all your putts find the bottom of the cup.

Robert K. Winters, B.S., M.A., RPH is the director of Mind Power Sports located in Charlottesvile, Virginia. Winters is a leading sport psychologist, author, and lecturer.

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