Nerves and Clutch Putts

Putting is probably the most nerve racking thing that we do in a round of golf. The suspense builds as your playing partners hover around you and throw in comments like “don’t rush, we have plenty of time, this is really a fast green or don’t blow it like the last one.” Words of encouragement don’t help. So what should you be doing to get rid of your nervous tension?

I realized that I had to take stock of my putting thoughts yesterday after blowing a 4 foot, sloped putt for my 4th birdie of the day on the 18th hole. I was last to putt out and I heard the comment: “the pressure is on”. I took my time and lined up my putt after watching another missed putt which was almost on my line. I could not pull the trigger with a firm putt and ended up hitting the putt light and let it drift left of the hole. Bonkers!

Whatever grip and stance and putter you like to use, you need to practice your putting to sort out how to make a confident swing for every putt. I must admit that I am now somewhat successfully playing with 3 styles of putting for different distance putts:
1/ For Long Putts (over 15 feet) : I swing my putter through the ball and up my target line holding the putter only with my leading hand after I release my trailing hand at the point of impact. This is an excellent technique to swing your putter directly up your target line.

2/ For Mid-range Putts (5 to 15 feet): I use a conventional putting grip and rock my shoulders as I swinging up my target line.

3/ For Short Putts up to 5 feet: I use the same arm-lock grip that Kucher and DeChambeau are using BUT I BEND OVER MORE TO REACH DOWN MY CONVENTIONAL PUTTER. I grip down to the bottom of my grip so that the top end of my grip locks against my leading arm and stops any shaking of my putter during the putt. Make sure to practice this method to swing straight up your target line or you may pull your putts.

Matt Kucher bends significantly at the waist to use his conventional putter with a locked-arm putting swing. (Golf Digest)

This 3rd technique is the latest success on the Pro Circuit as I see that many of the professionals are changing to longer shafted putters for this Locked-Arm Putting Technique. Xander Schauffele is using this technique and believes that this “semi-anchoring method” should be banned. Until it is banned all golfers with shaky hands should use this method for short putts.

Xander Schauffele uses a longer shafted putter for Locked-Arm Putting so that he can use it for all of his long and short putts.

Putting Drill to Make More Clutch Putts
This is a random putting drill that Luke Donald uses to improve reading of the break from different directions around a hole. On a practice green, drop 4 or more balls in a circle around a putting green hole at 4 feet. Read the break and try to make each putt. Repeat this until you sink all of the balls at that radius and then move to a longer radius and continue to repeat this practice.

Build confidence in your putting by practicing before you play. Make sure that you lock your leading wrist during your swing. This is just one of the 6 swing fixes that you can learn when practicing with GOLFSTR+. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #63: When you look up, after causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.



  • Philip Parker. 2141400518 GA # says:

    I have invented a new way of arm locking.
    I won the Harrington Waters Vets Club Championship with this method standing up to pressure.
    I call it a Y grip.
    I hold the putter with my right hand normally.
    Then I come under the putter with the back of my left hand in a Y shape of my thumb and index finger.
    I then place my left thumb on top of my right hand and place my left hand fingers on top of my right hand fingers.
    I then angle my hand so the end of the putter is arm locked on the inside of my left arm.
    Then I have power and feel with my right hand and control with my left hand and arm lock.
    I rock the shoulders and hit the ball very straight with positivity.

    • Will Curry says:

      Hi Philip, A photo of your Y Grip would really help me understand how you are holding the club. I just don’t understand how you can hold anything with the back of your left hand. Are you using an extended putter or a conventional length of putter. I do understand that your success is based on the putter “locking” on your leading arm (left arm) as you putt.

    • Will Curry says:

      By the way Philip, I just looked up your location in Harrington, NSW Australia. I drove by your area on our east coast trip driving down from Brisband to Sydney. What a beautify area you live in.

  • Philip Parker says:

    Hi Will.
    I am using a 40″ Odyssey V line Armlock mallet head putter.
    I would gladly send you a photo.
    0424273571 is my mobile number.
    Send me yours and I will send you different views of this grip.
    I use it with a Metal Wood also when close to the green in longer grass when the putter would be caught by that grass.
    Will I have never putted better.
    My GA. Has gone down since using this grip.
    I shot 80/68 and 84/72 to win the gross by 4 and the nett by 5 in the Vets championships.
    I showed the grip to my good friend Frank Musgrave and he was impressed.

    • Will Curry says:

      Thanks for sending photos to help me understand the grip. I love it and will start playing with it. I may even buy a 40″ putter. I plan to include your story in our next blog.