Ryan Palmer: Putting: Mental Game

Putts equal money on tour! Ryan Palmer gives us an insight into why he always tries to keep it simple on the green.


So everyone asks me this. And I ask you this too I'm sure in every Pro event.

How do you make a three footer for $500,000 or whatever? I mean, what are you doing? We've heard this from each one of our players. This next putt right here, this is a putt to win. This could be the make the cut, could be to win a million bucks, the tournament, a trophy. So how do you do it?

I putt to, you know, they're all different.

Big putt.

Yeah. Got to make it.

Like jumbo putt.

You know, it's obviously trying to keep it simple. Trying to keep it like you would if this was on a Thursday morning to shoot 65. Or maybe this is a Saturday afternoon just to grind out a 70 or 71. Now you got to putt to make a cut, a putt to top 10, a putt to get in a playoff. You know, you have these putts. I made a huge one at Byron Nelson one year in 2011. I had about 6-7 footer breaking putt on the last hole, last group, to get in the playoff with Keegan Bradley. And all it was, you know, the work I put into it, the drills I do. I keep telling myself, it's a putt you hit numerous times on the putting green, on the golf course, and you go through the same routine. I mean, honestly, the nerves are there. The atmosphere is there. It's probably trying to slow down, take a deep breath, you know, and then--

Forward press helps you, I think.

Forward press kind of keeps my hands not so tight and tense. It keeps them more loose. The main thing is just picking that spot.

Do the routine. Picking the spot. You know where--

To me, I got a three and a half footer straight up the hill to get in the playoff, you know, whatever it is. I've got my spot which is kind of right in here, halfway. On this putt, I'm looking halfway.


And this is where I want the ball to start. If I hit that spot, I'm going to make this putt.


So I'm looking at it, you know, I'm trying to control my breathing, control the heartbeat, which is not easy. Just keep my hands loose. I've got the spot. Looking at the hole. Pure. And the main thing for me is keep my eyes quiet, keep my head down, almost not listen for the ball to go in, but wait for the ball to leave the putter face before I look at the hole, look at the ball.