The Quiet Skills

3 ways tour play­ers pro­gram good re­sults

Golf Digest Middle East - - Play Your Best Tee To Green By Butch Harmon -

Over the years, I’ve been for­tu­nate to work with some of the game’s best play­ers. They’re all phys­i­cally gifted, so it’s of­ten some­thing else—a men­tal or emo­tional strength—that sets them apart. Here are a few of those qual­i­ties.

1. a short mem­ory

Great golfers are like great de­fen­sive backs in foot­ball: When they get burned, they’re im­me­di­ately ready to go again. What­ever the mis­take—a bad drive, a missed putt—the best play­ers quickly put it in the past. When Dustin Johnson three-putted the last green at the 2015 U.S. Open and failed to force a play­off with Jor­dan Spi­eth, peo­ple asked me if DJ would be OK. He was fine. He’s a great ex­am­ple of a player who looks for­ward, not back. Imag­ine how much bet­ter you’d play if you did that.

2. a con­sis­tent ap­proach

It takes no ath­letic abil­ity to set up to the ball per­fectly ev­ery time. This is where am­a­teurs should shine, but most have no plan for get­ting into a shot. Greg Nor­man, who I worked with in the 1990s, has my fa­vorite preshot rou­tine. He steps in with the club in his right hand, aims the club­face, then com­pletes his grip be­fore set­ting his left foot and widen­ing out his right foot to take his stance. Most golfers set their stance first, then just plop the club down be­hind the ball. De­velop a process like Greg’s, and you’ll hit more shots where you want them to go.

3. de­ci­sive, up­beat putting

Watch Rickie Fowler putt, and one thing stands out: He doesn’t waste any time. Brandt Snedeker, who I coached for a few years, also has a brisk rou­tine. They get set over the ball quickly, take a look or two at the hole and go. Most golfers grind over putts, as if tak­ing more time makes you more pre­cise. The op­po­site is usu­ally true. Pick your line, set the put­ter­face care­fully where you want the ball to start, then make your stroke be­fore you can think of ways to miss the putt. butch harmon is a Golf Di­gest Teach­ing Pro­fes­sional.

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