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July 1 2013

12:14 PM

Mental Game: Haas' look-and-go

Bill Haas makes birdie on No. 10 during the final round of the AT&T Classic. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM

This is the season for great putting advice from the veterans. At the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Steve Stricker suggested to Tiger Woods that he should square his stance a bit and weaken his left hand. This helped lead to a victory that week for Woods. This week putting guru Brad Faxon recommended that Bill Haas get less mechanical and just “look and go” with his putting routine. The new reactive putting method was key in Haas' win at AT&T National.

The look-and-go method can greatly benefit your game as well. Here are a few reasons how this method can greatly help you make more putts:

1. Many amateurs (and some pros) take too long over the ball when putting. Some even seem frozen! As a result, muscle tension builds and you can lose the fluidity in your stroke. To prevent the mind freeze, incorporate a trigger into your putting routine. For example, my trigger is when my eyes track back from the hole and as soon as I see the back of the golf ball. That is when I start my putter back.

2. You may not like the look-and-go method. That is, having only one look at the hole may make you feel rushed. In that case, I would recommend having two or three looks at the hole, whatever you prefer. But the rub is to be consistent in your looks at the hole. If you prefer two looks, then do two looks every time. This consistency in looks will buffer anxiety because your body will not know if it is a practice round or the club championship.

3. How you look at the hole will impact your rhythm. One of the secrets in putting is that when you look at the hole in a fast manner, your stroke will be fast. The same goes if you look slowly. Look at the hole at the same rhythm you want to stroke the putt.

Free up your stroke and your putting mind with the look-and-go method. But make it your own style because we are all unique and we all have unique strokes.

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the TOUR” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players as well as top collegiate and junior golfer.  Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at drgreggsteinberg.com.

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