I missed a 3 footer. It was on the 17th hole last Sunday as my Pennant season was coming to the end. The miss meant that I lost the chance to take the lead in a really tight match against a very good player.

I didn’t panic. The miss didn’t even register in my care factor scale. I shrugged my shoulders and was ready to battle up the last hole.

At the conclusion of the match multiple people came up to me and asked, “how did you miss that putt?”.

Me: I don’t know. I thought I hit a good putt.
Them: But how could you miss it?
Me: I don’t know.
Them: But surely you want to know what you did wrong.
Me: I didn’t do anything wrong, thought I hit a good putt and it just didn’t go in.
Them: How can you get better if you don’t know what you did wrong?
Me: I didn’t do anything wrong.

Some people like to know all the details. They almost crave it and struggle to play without analysing every shot they hit. While you can’t control what other people say (and think) you can control your own thoughts.

I made good putts on holes 15 and 16. Both were over 4 feet on really fast (but bumpy) greens. Both putts went into the middle of the hole. This is what I focus on rather than the odd miss. You almost need selective memory.

I approached the putt on 17 in the same way that I almost always do (I say “almost” because there’s always some malfunction once in a while). I was relaxed. I wasn’t hatching and I certainly wasn’t over thinking the situation. I hit the auto-pilot button and stroked the putt. I remember it feeling really solid off the club face – it felt good. When I looked up the putt did a big horseshoe.

It missed. Not the end of the world and nothing I could do about it.

This mindset hasn’t come easily. It’s normal to panic and over analyse. It’s what I used to do when I was a terrible putter and probably the reason I developed the yips. But I don’t do it anymore and find it funny that other people get concerned over the occasional miss.

A selective memory is important. Focus on the good stuff and forget about the bad. It really helps you get back on track after a less than perfect result.

P.S. If you’re interested, I won the last hole after hitting a nice approach shot. The little miss didn’t cost me too much. Unfortunately the golf team lost 4/3. Bummer.