Chris Stroud - Three Footer Under Pressure

Chris Stroud discusses how to hit a 3 footer under pressure. He had a similar putt to make the cut line in a tournament recently, and shares his process.


You're on the cutline on Friday, and you've got three holes to play. And if you miss this, you're probably going to miss the weekend.

I just had this a few weeks ago actually-- same exact type of putt. I was on whole number 7, par 3 at Sea Island. And I had about a four or five footer. Windy, tough conditions-- had to make it. If I didn't, no guarantee if make birdie. It was 4 par. If I make bogey, I slip under the cutline.

And you're out.

And I'm out.

Zero money.

And then I'm going to have to go birdie at one of the last two, which is not a guarantee. I've got to make it. So same thing.

So I think it's true to realize that the most pressure could be early in the round or late. It could be at any point.

It doesn't have to be on the last hole.

It doesn't have to be-- they're all important.

They're all important.

So I think that's what we're trying to build. It could be an up and down on a hard hole to keep the one under or to keep you two over or whatever it is.

Keeping the momentum is huge. But yeah, I had the same putt. Number one thing I do is I always go back to simple stuff. Stick to the routine. Trust what I've got set up and what I've practiced on, which my line-- lining up the ball is huge for me-- trusting that I'm lined up correctly.

That's now out of the equation.

Now it's going to be out.

When you go in there and you get over that line--

I will have you no question.

And it doesn't look probably right, you've already agreed with yourself that it's correct here. So when you go up there and it looks a little funny, you've already said, it's out.

I can't ask that. I know that I know that's not it. So that question-- there's no chance of that popping in my head. Because under the gun, your mind wants to do more. That settles that down.

So now I have no question if it's lined up. I'll go to my routine. I'll read it, maybe take a deep breath, and then I start my routine.

Which we know is approximately 12--

11 to 13 seconds. And then I'll walk in, trust my alignment. I may take another half a split second to make sure it's lined up just so I don't have that question. And then I stick to my routine, and I trust it.

Walk us through it. Verbally walk us through it as your going in here.

This is great. So what I do as soon as I walk in, I say, quality putt, center. So center for me is the center of the hole. Then I'll get in here. I always take one practice stroke. Sometimes it's looking at my target, looking at the hole, or sometimes it's back here. It doesn't really matter.

I'll get in here, and I'll say, quality, line up. In my mind, I'm saying lineup, center, got everything set. And then as I'm stroking it, sometimes I'll hover. And I'll say, level and rotate.

That is my routine. And number one most important for me is to level and rotate at the very end while I'm stroking it. It keeps me more calm. It keeps me trusting.

The level and rotate is actually sort of a trigger to remind yourself that you're going low on the back swing and just a little bit of release.

That's right.

Because if you didn't have the rotate in there, it's just reinforcing that you're working around a wheel rim or something. Just something-- a banana or just a little bit.

The level keeps me from doing one tendency I have, which is to pick it up. Growing up on really slow greens I had to pick the putter off the green. And the rotate keeps the putter rotating and releasing, because I have a tendency to drag. It's a big key for me. So both of those words, "level and rotate," counteract my tendencies.

Yes. So if I did it in a hand motion, you're level and rotate-- it's like level and a little bit of rotate.

Just a touch. Just a little. And it's just a little bit. And what I've learned through the years-- that little bit of rotation helps my eyes, and my head, and my body stay very, very still.

All right, so do it one more time and with no talking for all the cash. Which you got all the cash this year in the Barracuda out in Reno. Did you have one of these at the end?

I did-- many of them.

There it is. Bingo.