Look & Shoot Putting System - FAQs

Here are some of the most frequent questions, and more importantly, the answers to enhancing your putting game.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q.I am putting quite well in practice but I tend to get bogged down once I reach the golf course. What am I doing wrong?

    A.This is a huge learning opportunity. I encourage you to go deeper here and compare your mindset/attitude/approach between the practice green and the golf course.

    Almost always, golfers are relaxed and putting more freely when they are on the practice green. But, when they reach the golf course, things revert back to more technical control.

    So, the first step here is to gain greater awareness of your thoughts and process. This will open up a whole range of learning possibilities.

  • Q.I started putting well but I have fallen off the wagon of late. What am I doing wrong?

    A.This is quite common and the answer is always the same.

    Stop trying so hard. Let the process flow from start to finish and stop stressing about each and every putt. Look at the hole, get comfortable and hit that putt. Then repeat. It’s simple advice but it has worked for 1000s of golfers from all over the planet. Even the tour pros.

    In summary – you started off well because you simplified your approach but have reverted back to a more technical process.

  • Q.I still feel yippy and am missing shorter putts. What can I do?

    A.The short answer is to keep going. There are no miracle cures here and you have to learn to putt the ball without stress/worry/panic about the results. My strongest advice is to get as comfortable as you can on each putt and then let it go as best you can.

    Yes, you may yip the odd putt but you can’t be scared of this. Fear of results gives power to Pesky and will cause you all sorts of issues. If you’re accepting that this is a process and a few yips are normal (because they are) then you’re in control. You will maximise your chances of success.

    The critical steps are:

    1. Focus on what you want to do (in most cases this means rolling the ball towards a target)
    2. Get as comfortable as you can (important)
    3. Let the putt go (putt freely as possible)
    4. Repeat (key to your success because most yippers will change their approach on each putt they have and this rarely works.

    Here’s even more:

    I also understand about the yips and feeling terrible about putting. Been there and done that.

    The yips are a mental and emotional reflection to fear of failing. The flinching and feeling horrible is all a side-effect.

    Fear is it. The way out of it, and it’s not a quick fix (took me two years or so) is to accept, with full commitment to each shot you take. And you need to be happy with the realisation, that no matter what you do, there are no guarantees. What I mean here is this,

    – sometimes, you are going to feel horrible. But you must commit

    – sometimes, no matter how well you approach each putt, the ball will miss. You must continue

    – sometimes, even when feeling horrible, the ball still finds he hole

    – appreciate that all golfers, who are trying to succeed, will feel badly at times (it’s normal and nothing to really worry about)

    You need to go deeper. To approach each putt with more awareness and less expectation that you deserve to make the putt (each putt is a new journey/experience). Simply, you need to relax and see putting like you do all other skills you are good at.

    One last thing. There’s a major distinction to learn here: Intending to be successful or needing to be. And I believe if you reflect on your ball striking (and other areas of the game that don’t cause you yips) there will be some huge learnings for you.
    Hope this helps.

  • Q.I am now sinking more putts, especially the shorter ones. I am still having the odd 3 putt and would like to eradicate them. What advice do you have?

    A.This is interesting and my thoughts differ from most. I believe you should embrace the odd 3 putt and continually strive to putt more freely and without fear. The more we can relax into the process the better we will do. So while it’s not possible to stop all the 3 putts, it is possible to hole a lot of putts from all sorts of distances. This is when putting becomes really fun and your attitude is bullet proof. The odd miss should not stop you from playing your best golf and getting the most enjoyment.

    Golfers who are having trouble with distance control usually have some sort of distraction going on. This is especially true if you’re able to toss a ball to someone without too much issue. The process really should become Look and Shoot.

    Look at the putt (usually from behind the ball), get a feel for the distance (there’s nothing you need to do, the looking part gives your system all the info it needs), walk in, get comfy and then pull the trigger.

  • Q.What do you think is the most important aspect of putting?

    A.For most golfers it will be simplification. We all need to take things away. For example,

    Do you need 5 practice strokes each time?
    Do you need to look at the putt from every direction?
    Do you need to stress and worry about the putt?
    Do you really need to take so long on each putt?

    We can all benefit by having good awareness on our putting approach and seeing/feeling where we can simplify.

    And here lies another huge opportunity for many golfers because we all tend to try too hard and bring too many thoughts to the putting green.

    My experience with all of this is as follows.

    Tried way too hard for way too long

    Would practice my putting for hours each week

    Changed putters often

    Would stress and worry about putting

    Would get too emotional about missing putts

    Would put too much pressure on myself to make putts

    When I learned to back off, things slowly got better. I don’t want to BS you and say things happened instantly. It was a process. But bit by bit my putting improved.

    And I have seen similar results with my VIP clients. It can take time but you can get to the point where you can walk onto any green, look at the putt, get a feel for the putt, walk in and putt the ball towards the hole.

    No fluff. No stressing. No bullshit.

    More putts find the hole. You’ll two-putt more often.

    And you may even surprise yourself at how well you’ll putt by doing the bare minimum.

  • Q.Can you give me some specific examples on how I can simplify my putting routing?

    A.Yes, here are some ideas to get you started. Please add your own flair to suit.

    Stop having practice putting strokes. If I was to ask you to throw a ball to me would you practice the motion first?

    Strive to think only about what you WANT to do. Stop thinking about what you don’t want. For example, your mission almost always should be to roll the ball to a specific target with the minimum of fuss – so you can remind yourself to “roll the ball”, “roll the ball”. This is a million times better than “Keep the head still, rock the shoulders, keep eyes over the ball, grip lightly, smooth back and through etc”

    Play/putt more quickly. When you stop thinking so much and remove the need of practice strokes, you should be playing more quickly. I have found that a faster approach allows us all to flow better and achieve more consistent results.

    Choose a putter and stick with it. When you stop worrying about your putter you are freeing up your system and maximising your chances of success. Learn to love your putter and certainly don’t stress about the odd miss.

    Stop reading greens too intently. You want to get an approximation and that’s it. When you stop reading greens you give yourself way more bandwidth to hit the putt on a better line.

    Ignore misses. Just let them go. Don’t stress about them. Learn to laugh at them at move on. Missing putts (even short ones) is normal. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Embrace Look and Shoot for the long putts – this means you have another thing you don’t have to worry about. Your learning system is doing the heavy lifting and you don’t need to worry about HOW HARD TO HIT THE PUTT. You look at the target, get a feel for the putt and then walk in and hit it. It’s a beautifully simplistic way to approach putting.

  • Q.Can I look at the putt from all angles? I am worried that this will take too much time. What do you think?

    A.Sure. If you feel the need. Please learn to listen to your gut and do what you want. I appreciate that some putts are difficult and you may need a second (or third) look at it. So go for it. Look, Look and Look. But ultimately, start trusting your gut and don’t worry if you need more time.

  • Q.I am not holing as many putts from 10ft - 20ft as I would like. Is there anything I can do?

    A.Yes. Stop putting scared. You need to let go. You need to putt like the ball is already in the hole. Experience tells me you’ll be putting with a lot of self-doubt and worry. You will be scared of 3 putting so you are putting way too carefully. So you need to remove the mental straitjacket and go for it. Please don’t worry about a few 3 putts. You have to accept a few bad putting performances to get the most out of yourself. You need to break the shackles and start feeling what it’s like to putt freely.

  • Q. I like your book but have struggled to take the concepts to the golf course. What can I do here?

    A.Start slowly. Learning is messy and can take a while to kick in. Some golfers learn more quickly than others and there’s nothing we can do about this. So please don’t panic. You can start on the carpet at home and then progress to the practice putting green. You can then take things to the golf course in a social setting. Don’t play competition the first day out! Take your time and become more aware of the process.

    Note: I think, for the most part, that golfers play too much comp. This is certainly true in Australia where almost every round we play is a competition. This stifles learning and doesn’t encourage us to explore and try new things. It is one of my biggest frustrations with mainstream golf. All of us would do better if we could go to the golf course with the mission of learning and having fun.

  • Q.My stroke feels terrible!! What can I do about that?

    A.Have more awareness of your stroke. For example, you could ask variations of the following:

    Why does it feel terrible?
    Where does it feel terrible?
    What does feel good about it?
    Can you pinpoint where there is any tension?
    If you knew your putting stroke was perfect, how would it feel? (Then putt that way)

    The goal here is to increase awareness and really open up to HOW you truly want to putt. Awareness is the key to learning here because most of us are asleep. We hit a putt, it misses and then we look outside for the answers (what did I do wrong? Why did it miss? I am no good!) but we should be going inside ourselves for the answers.

    I know this is a departure from usual instruction but it’s way more powerful. You are in control and driving the ship. With traditional technical coaching we are reliant on someone else telling us what to do. This is actually a pretty poor way to learn.

  • Q.My putter doesn’t feel any good, should I change it?

    A.Yes. If you really think a new putter is the way forward then go for it. But please, there’s no need to keep changing. Find a putter that you find comfortable and then stick with it.

  • Q.Why should I stick with a comfortable putter?

    A.Because over time you’ll become very very good with it. Plus, if you are not wasting energy worrying about the putter, you have more bandwidth to play golf successfully.

  • Q.How do I become consistent with putting?

    A.It starts by removing as much rubbish as you can (see above). From here, you’ll have a chance. It’s almost impossible to putt well if you’re,

    Worried about your stroke
    Scared of missing putts
    Always tweaking your technique
    Fearful you cannot read green correctly
    Worried what others are thinking about you

    But when you remove all of the garbage you are giving yourself a chance. A chance to,

    Bring your best putting stroke to the surface
    Let your learning system shine and perform the heavy lifting
    Maximise your success
    Play without fear and have way more fun/enjoyment

    And when you can maximise your chances you’ll almost certainly optimise your chances of putting better. So, my strongest advice is to start taking stuff away and putting more freely. When we start working with our learning system (instead of against) we can all putt more consistently.

  • Q.How long should I practice my putting for?

    A.It’s up to you. I prefer short and sharp sessions and I try and make them as close to the real thing (like when you’re out playing). For example, I recommend,

    Using one ball only
    Going through your routine
    Vary each putt (don’t stand in the one spot hitting the same putt over and over)

    Once you get a feel for the greens then you should stop. There’s very little gain to be had once you get past 30 minutes of practice.

  • Q. I’ve read about your 5 minute putting practice routine, can you expand on that please?

    A.Yes. Simply, I like to go to the practice green (either before I play or simply to do some putting practice) with one ball and my focus is on,

    – start with some short 3 footers (or thereabouts)
    – vary the line. I like to move around the hole so I never have the same putt twice
    – full focus on routine and process (I really get lost in this and am not thinking about anything else)
    – commit to rolling the ball along the grass
    – after a few minutes move slightly further away (4, 5 or 6 feet)

    Note: I am not just bashing these putts into the hole. I am pretending I am under tournament conditions and really trusting my process. And because I am fully focussed I don’t need to spend a lot of time on these putts – 4 or 5 minutes is enough. If I have time I’ll even hit some longer putts to get a feel of the green. And that’s it! Over and done with in a 5 minutes.

  • Q.Why the focus on the short putts?

    A.Because they are important. And, if you get good at holing the 3 footers, you’ll naturally be better and making the 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 footers. The shorter putts are the key to maximising your scoring potential and NOT wasting strokes. If you can’t hit a 3 foot putt without fear then you’ll always struggle to play your best.

  • Q.Have you got any mental tricks/ideas to help me sink more putts?

    A.The best I have come up with is this…

    Ask yourself, “How would I hit this putt if I knew I was going to make it?”

    Then, listen for the answer. What you come up with can be quite profound and worth exploring.

    I also have had great success with golfers who struggle with their putting with this concept.

    “I want you to give yourself permission to have three putts per hole. You need to commit to this and you can’t deviate from the process. Your first putt is struck to get near the hole and from here you have two more to get the ball into the hole”
    This works because it helps a golfer to relax and there’s way less pressure on him/her. And we can all 3 putt with ease so there’s no major stress. And the funny thing is that the calm mindset actually ensures you’ll 3 putt way less. When you learn to get out of your own way, you’ll hardly 3 putt.

  • Q.If you only had a few minutes to help a golfer putt his best what would you tell him?

    A.To get comfortable, both with the grip and stance and then putt the ball like it’s already in the hole. And then repeat that process over and over. And that’s about it. The advice here is easy to do but it’s also easy NOT to do.

    Experience tells me that many adult learners are looking for the complicated and technical answer. When they get something that’s simple, they often overlook it.

  • Q.I am missing too many putts to the left (or right). How do I stop this?

    A.There are a few ways to tackle this issue but here’s my best way.

    Get a feel for what it’s like to miss putts in the opposite direction. So, if you keep missing left, can you miss right from the same stance? What does that feel like?

    Then, go back to putting freely. You should now notice an immediate change.

    This exaggeration drill is ideal for golfers who are missing left, long, short or right. Like much of my coaching, there is always some push back.

    Golfers don’t like making mistakes on purpose. But it’s not really making mistakes. It’s all about learning and is very powerful.

  • Q.My speed is off. How can I get back on track?

    A.In a word, SIMPLIFY.

    If you’re able to toss a ball to someone with the right speed, then you can certainly putt with the correct speed.

    Time and time again I see golfers who can’t fully embrace the process. They don’t trust that they can roll the ball across the green at the correct speed.

    So there’s a disconnect. They are attempting to be more natural and instinctive, but there’s also too much thinking and analysis. You can’t have both.

    The key is to relax (take a deep breath), look where you want the ball to go, have a practice stroke from behind (and while looking at the target) and then let the stroke flow.

    Look and react.

    Then repeat.

    If you’re continually off then you need to bight the bullet and simplify further. Become aware of your thoughts and attempt to putt more freely.

    Remember? The process is really no harder than throwing a ball to someone.

    One more thing: don’t beat yourself up because you don’t get the speed right every time. You are bound to hit the odd bad putt. This is normal. You are not a robot. The key here is to refocus and follow the natural process.

  • Q.I am putting ok from distance but am still missing too many shorter putts. What do you suggest?

    A.I like to see this as a learning opportunity. My suggestion is to become more aware of these successful longer putts and compare to what’s happening with the shorter ones. I have found, and this can be really subtle, but golfers tend to become more stiff, controlling and tentative with the shorter putts.

    I get it. It’s normal to feel the pressure on the short putts. But herein lies the opportunity. If we can free up. If we can simplify our thoughts and ultimately trust ourselves to roll the ball towards the target (no matter how long the putt) we will optimise our chances of success.

    This is a process and not an event. It can take a little bit of time and certainly huge amounts of trust, to walk up to a short putt and hit it without fear of the consequences. But this is the path forward. And it’s certainly the path to success if you have tried everything else in your golfing journey, like, new putters and all sorts of tips and tricks.

    The answer, almost certainly, is in learning to think less and putting with more freedom.

  • Q.I am trying really hard but can't seem to get the process to work. What am I doing wrong?

    A.My best advice is for you to try a little less. Relax and let the process flow. You can almost feel like you’re being reckless. I like golfers to rate their seriousness on their approach.

    1 being totally out of control and it’s almost like you’re playing hockey.

    10 is dead serious. No flow. Stiff and as controlling as you can be.

    Experience tells me most golfers are consistently at 8 or 9 (even 10). My challenge to you is to explore and experiment with some lower numbers.

    What does a 3 feel like?

    Obviously, you may not want to take this approach to the club champs, but you can practice in a non competitive environment and then gradually introduce into bigger events. Of one thing I am sure,

    Most golfers are too serious and too controlling to truly putt their best. Many need to take the straitjacket off and putt more freely.

  • Q.What's the best way to read putts?

    A.I have found the best way is to get an approximation of the line you think the ball needs to take to find the hole/target.

    It’s an approximation because the ideal line is also determined by how hard you strike the putt. Soft putts break more while harder putts don’t break as much. The issue golfers have is we don’t know exactly how hard we’re going to hit the putt before we execute.

    So we can only approximate.

    Further, the approximation is actually simplifying the process. Instead of worrying about if the putt is going to break 1 inch or 2 inches left to right, we are happy in the fact we know the putt is going to break to the right.

    We can then set up in a comfortable position and pull the trigger. We are essentially letting our system do all the heavy lifting. We are letting it figure out all the minor details on getting the ball into the hole.

    This way of putting is liberating. It will also take some trust and some practise.

    What do you do if you have no idea of the break?
    Focus on speed only. Get a feel of the putt and then go. If you can’t see much (or any) then the putt is most likely quite flat.

    Another tip: Many golfers under-read the amount of break. If your putts keep missing low, then double the amount of break you see. This is best done on the practice putting green before taking it to the course.

  • Q.I like to walk/pace off long putts, is this ok?

    A.Yes. I like golfers to do this. In fact, I have been walking off my long putts for many years now. I recommend it under the following guidelines:

    – don’t think too much about HOW hard to hit the putt. Use the walk to get a feel of the putt (and perhaps the line)
    – trust that your internal learning system is picking up the vital clues (speed, distance and break etc)
    – don’t spend too much time walking off the putts (you could become very slow and the process will lose it’s magic if you do it on every putt)
    – play as quickly as possible. Be mindful of other golfers and don’t waste time (see above)

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