What’s running through your mind stood over one of those nasty short putts? Maybe it’s on the 18th and you need to hole one final putt to come in under handicap. ‘Don’t pull it’ ‘don’t push it’ ‘don’t leave it short’ ‘focus on the line’ ‘commit’, ‘good stroke’. Anything and everything! But most of it is not usually helpful! Then bam, you miss it. Cue the standard abuse to yourself ‘you massive ****’ [insert insult of your choice!] ‘I knew that was going to happen’ All too familiar phrases I’d say.
I struggle with the short putts; they always get to me, and Nat said the same thing. They’re not quite short enough to tap in, yet they’re just long enough to mess with your head. It’s ridiculous really, 3 foot is absolutely nothing, you could kick it in, but why do those putts always seem so hard to hole consistently?!
What about if you had one of those 3 footers on the 18th to win your first ever tour event?! Suddenly 3 feet just became 6 feet! That’s exactly the situation former European Tour player Andrew Murray found himself in on the 18th green at Walton Health in the 1989 European Open. With a career changing moment on the line, Andrew boxed a short putt to win his first title by one shot. So how did he hold his nerve under such pressure? Nat and I took to the course with Andrew to find out more! Although I think this was more exciting for me than Nat, she’s heard this story a million times, seen as Andrew is her other (better?!) half! Yep, she just rolled her eyes at me!
I asked Andrew what he was thinking walking down the fairway with a one-shot lead having just ripped his tee shot straight down the middle of the 18th. How did he stay focused and not think about having one hand on the trophy?! How many times have you had a good card going and all of sudden you start thinking about making your speech and what you’ll buy from the pro shop with your winnings! Sooooo many times! Well Andrew said for him it was simple…he whistled to himself all the way to the green. He’d been doing it for the last few holes, and it stopped him from being anywhere other than the present moment. Pretty simple tactic I’d say and one we could all try. But it doesn’t have to be whistling, it’s anything that can stop your mind wandering to anywhere other than the shot you’re about to hit. Staying in the present is crucial and no doubt will aid our scores.
TWITCHY BUM TIME!
After hitting a peach of a 6 iron from 176 yards into 15 feet, Andrew had two putts to clinch his maiden tour title. Twitchy bum time they say, as he raced his first putt 3 feet past the hole. Now facing one of those horrors we all hate, with just his career on the line, Andrew held his nerve and confidently boxed the longest 3-footer of his life. Cue the celebrations and a lovely white jacket to go with it. So, what were Andrew’s top tips for boxing pressure putts? Nice and simple, here goes…
You can watch these tips in full on reels over on our Instagram page @offscratchgolf_ Thanks again to Andrew for his brilliant advice. You can also find out more about Andrew and his fantastic coaching trips on www.andrewmurraygolf.com Take a look they’re great fun. Don’t forget to let us know if you’re enjoying this content, you can post a comment below. You can also follow us for more tips and general fun on all our socials! Don’t forget to check out our coaching plans and see what takes your fancy!