Why you miss short putts, 3-putt and even yip and flinch the easiest of putts

We are brainwashed into thinking it’s really hard (it really isn’t because any golfer can roll the ball along the grass)

We think our technique is really really important (it’s not) and we must try hard to fix it (you shouldn’t). The issue here is twofold;

a. The constant tweaking is hard work and we don’t ever get to just putt and play golf (so golf becomes boring and exhausting)

b. When you fail (and you will) you need to keep thinking and coming up with new tips/theories and ideas

So it’s a vicious cycle of going around in circles. And there’s absolutely no shortage of lessons, ideas and equipment you can purchase to keep this thing going.

And that’s only the start of it. There’s a bigger problem at play…

Welcome to Shitville and Averageville

I have been writing, coaching and sharing these ideas for 20+ years and in that time I have spoken to tens of thousands of golfers from all over the world.

And there’s something that I find very sad.

Only a small percentage of golfers extract from golf the true enjoyment that’s on offer.


 “Golfers invest their time and energy into golf but they are not really getting any real enjoyment (or satisfaction) from the game.”


And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is because the learning model is all wrong. We are trying to overload our little minds with so much garbage (tips, ideas, theories etc) that our system shuts down.

And at best, this is a very average way to play. At its worst? It’s a nightmare. Fucking horrible with little long-term success, consistency or enjoyment.

Why doesn’t it work?

Because the part of your brain that is responsible for understanding language has no means to perform the motion. Please read that again because it’s one of the most profound things I can tell you.

The part of the brain that can understand all the technical information does not actually perform the motion.

So there’s a disconnect. We are not working optimally and this is why putting can be so hard.

We falsely believe we can bypass HOW we should be learning. We can’t. And when I start talking to a frustrated golfer she gets it. She realises that all the technical info/tips/lessons don’t really work, but she doesn’t know what else to do. And potentially more destructive, the typical golfer doesn’t want to buck the system – we want to fit in and do as we are told.

This all might seem a bit deep but it’s important if you’re gunna sink that tricky 4 footer on 18 this weekend. Stick with me please.

The info-overload kills learning. And we’re learning machines. We are all hardwired to learn and it’s something that makes life more interesting (and fun).

Without learning, there’s conscious effort. Lot’s of it. But conscious learning is the really hard way of performing anything (unless you’re in the 2%). But we tend to keep doing what we’re told because this is how the education system works.

Humans don’t question what we’re told. We want to fit in. We are scared of bucking the system because we are desperate not to look out of place.

Enter the industrial revolution

We need to back up a few hundred years now to understand this fully.

Owners of the factories needed workers to perform mundane tasks. They didn’t want the workers to think and make decisions. They needed them to blindly follow instructions, operate the machines, stack shelves and shovel coal. No. Questions. Asked.

All day. Every day.

Our school system is built on the same system (that’s why most of us don’t like school). The teacher stands in front of the class and barks orders. We wait patiently for the teacher to tell us what to do.

Side note: I have a lot of respect for the teachers. I am not bashing them. I have spoken to many teachers over the years and a huge percentage of them are frustrated at “the system”.

And yes, many of us learn golf the same way.

The difference here is teaching versus coaching and I’ll cover this in more detail below.

Here’s something interesting I do with new clients:

I asked them to describe their best putting round and their worst.

But be warned: If you continue reading you’ll never look at putting the same way again.

You do have the answers

When I ask a golfer to think and describe their best putting round it normally goes something like this:

When I’m putting well everything feels easy and simple. And it’s like magic because the ball keeps finding the hole and I don’t really know what I’m doing except for some general awareness that I want the ball to go into the hole.

When I’m putting poorly, my mind is abuzz and I’m always working on something. My set up, my stroke, my putter position. My bloody forearm plane and spine angle! I almost never putt well this way.

Let me break this down.

When a golfer is putting well, he has little going on from a technical point of view. His focus is generally on getting the ball into the hole.

When the same golfer is on Struggle Street, he is thinking of 127 different things at once. His focus is on something else not related to sinking the putt.

One process is simple and natural. The other, although fairly popular, is missing the entire point of the game.

One process is all about performing a task in a way that suits you, while the other approach is about you trying to putt in a way that someone else says is right for you.

Can you see it?

When we’re performing a skill in a way that feels good to us we give ourselves a chance to learn. We are not overloading our system. We are working how we are designed.

And golf becomes way easier and much more fun.

So the question is this, is golf instruction dead?

Not exactly.

I’m going to make a key distinction here. I’m going to replace instruction with “coaching”

Because instruction (or teaching) is old school (bit like the workers from the industrial revolution). And that might be dying.


  • quick tip instructions
  • gimmicks
  • promises of unrealistic improvements
  • just telling people what to do (but this doesn’t work because we don’t learn this way)
  • making things complicated because this sometimes makes the teacher feel important

Smarter golfers. Golfers who want to take control. Golfers who want more from the game than some BS theory or tip, won’t stand the mainstream ways for long.

Especially if there’s an alternative to all the mess.

Is there a catch to all this “learning” stuff (and coaching)?

Yes. And it requires a level of trust that you might not be used to. You’ve got to put the trust back into your own game. To trust yourself that you’re perfectly capable of learning to roll the ball along the grass.

Because remember, that’s all putting is.

If you’re able to adopt this new paradigm, that I’ll show you in a jiffy, everything will change for you.

Your putting stroke will change for the better (all very naturally)

You’ll sink more putts without busting a million brain cells (or without dropping another $399+ on a new putter)

You can forget about technique and all the putting theories and start enjoying yourself (hooray!)

Your results will continue to get better and better (because you’ll be using a learning methodology and this is more congruent with how we perform other tasks)

And golf/putting will offer way more enjoyment and satisfaction (maybe the most important thing of all)

You can make the shift. You can fight back. You can take control of your game.

Golf is too hard

You can’t take the putter away from the ball because you’re too scared.

You are so worried about missing, your body goes into shut down and you start yipping.

You are conflicted because deep down you probably know you should be putting differently, but you don’t want to upset the apple cart.

It’s no wonder we can’t enjoy ourselves.

Golfers are accepting bargain basement levels of enjoyment because we are not prepared to play golf in a way that suits us! We are letting the inmates run the asylum because, well, that’s just the way it is.

There’s no learning going on peeps

When the golf instructor tells you to set your spine angle, lock your wrists, take the putter away smoothly, focus on the putter path and then putt with your shoulders, there’s almost no learning going on.

You’re stuck. You’re confused. Your brain is shutting down. You will struggle to perform.

And the very thing you’re doing to get the results you want, is the thing that’s causing you ALL the problems. It’s not YOU that’s broken or not talented enough. It’s the bloody method you’re using!

I call this “new” way Automatic Learning. And on the next page, I’m going to go deeper and let you in on a mindset shift that can set your putting game on fire.