Putting, unlike any other aspect of golf, is mostly a mental endeavor. While not everyone has the physical potential to hit a driver 300 yards, everyone who plays golf has what it takes to make a five foot putt.
Every golfer should be able to attain the same level of skill on shorter putts. That means you should be able to make 98% of your putts five feet or less, like the best putters in the world. And, as far as I am concerned, they achieve those results with a flawed method.
The reason the best can make so many putts, while most golfers can’t even approach that 98% figure can be summed up in one word. Confidence.
I bet you thought I was going to say practice, didn’t you? But with short putting, your main benefit from practicing will be the confidence that comes from making a lot of short putts.
Since putting requires very little physical skill, by default it relies on your mental abilities to perform a simple physical act. The fear of failure is what drives a bad putter, while a good putter never even considers the possibility of missing the putt.
If you miss most of your putts in practice, you will never be able to reach a high level of confidence required to putt well on the course.
Next time you have a few minutes to practice putting, spend several minutes making two foot putts. If it seems boring, ask yourself how missing a bunch of 6 footers is going to help you putt better.
In no time, you will be holing out more putts on the course because you have seen so many of them go in on the practice green. You mind will begin to expect the putts to drop because it happens so frequently in practice.
That the putts are only two feet away doesn’t matter to your eyes and brain. All it knows is that it made the putt, so it was successful. In the long run, short successes will build a lot more confidence than longer failures.