Have you ever had that day where the hole seems like a bucket? You look at it and think
Wow, I am so confident over this putt
A recent study showed that people who played better perceived the size of the hole to be much bigger than those who played poorly. Our mind literally sees a bigger cup when we put well. (1)
Want to get in that state more often?
Sure you do. So here is a great tip to refine your action and at the same time change your perception of the hole and build confidence.
Make things more difficult
Practicing two meters away from a golf hole sized target (like an upturned mug) in your office or at home is a good pastime. However, you can still be 2 degrees offline and get the ball to hit the cup. While this may make you an ok putter, let’s tune it up a notch.
Replace the hole with a coin – you can do this on a real green too.
Use a medium sized coin, like a quarter or a ten pence piece. This dramatically reduces your error allowance, forcing you to improve your motor skills and gain better control of the clubface. As a result of the smaller and more difficult target, you will make more mistakes. Your brain then responds by refining your action further.
The smaller size of the coin demands more of your skill level.
Not only that, but it changes you mentally
Imagine you are on a freeway/motorway and you are driving, ahem, faster than normal. As you go onto the offramp and slow down, you drop your speed to 50mph. You look at the speedometer and can’t believe you are going so quick, as it feels like you are barely crawling along.
This is a perception shift – you were going so quick before that the same speed (50mph) now feels much slower. Similarly, as you get used to putting to a coin (small target), when you finally go back to the normal sized hole, it seems massive in comparison.
Imagine the confidence this will give you as your brain sees the cup as a huge hole in the ground. Your belief will skyrocket, which will allow your brain to take in more info about line and speed and create more holed putts.
There is a complex area of the brain called the Reticular Activating System which deals with information filtering. Confidence filters in better information.
In my book, “The Practice manual” (available on amazon), I discuss other ways of manipulating the task difficulty to have positive effects on both learning and performance, as well as many other ways to improve your golf practice. CLICK HERE to learn more about the book.
This tip is one of the 16 tips available FREE in my Ebook GOLF HACKS – download for free by clicking the picture below