Hole More 6 Footers

The Importance of Holing Out

As an avid golfer, I’ve come to learn that there’s no greater feeling than watching that little white ball disappear into the cup, accompanied by the satisfying “clunk” of the ball hitting the bottom. It’s a moment of pure elation, a testament to the countless hours spent on the practice green, honing my stroke and developing the touch and feel necessary to consistently hole out from short range.

But let’s be honest, holing out those pesky 6-footers isn’t always as easy as it seems. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging aspects of the game for many golfers, myself included. I’ve seen it time and time again – a player sticks their approach shot to tap-in range, only to walk off the green with a bogey or worse, all because they couldn’t convert that seemingly straightforward putt.

Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right mindset, technique, and a bit of practice, you too can become a master of the 6-footer. In this in-depth article, I’m going to share with you the secrets I’ve learned over the years, from reading the green and developing a reliable putting stroke, to the mental strategies that will help you hole more of those must-make putts.

Mastering the Art of Green Reading

Let’s start with the foundation – green reading. After all, you can have the sweetest putting stroke in the world, but if you can’t accurately read the slope and break of the green, those 6-footers are going to continue to elude you.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Green reading? That’s some mystical, black magic-type stuff that only the pros can really understand.” But I’m here to tell you, it’s not as complicated as it might seem. In fact, with a few simple techniques, you can become a green reading savant in no time.

One of the first things I always tell my students is to start by looking at the big picture. Take a step back and survey the entire green, paying attention to the overall slope and any major undulations. Is the green tilting from left to right? Is there a pronounced spine running through the middle? Identifying these larger features will give you a solid foundation to work from as you zero in on the specific break of your putt.

Next, it’s time to get up close and personal with the line of your putt. Take a few practice strokes, paying close attention to the way the putter interacts with the surface of the green. Is the grass smooth and consistent, or are there areas of grain that will influence the ball’s path? Gently placing the putter head on the ground can also give you a better sense of the contours you’ll be navigating.

And let’s not forget the all-important read from behind the ball. This is where you’ll really start to hone in on the specific break and slope of your putt. Crouch down, extend your arms, and trace the line of the putt with your finger. Does it start out straight before gradually curling to the left or right? Or is there a more pronounced break halfway to the hole? Carefully note these details, as they’ll be crucial in determining the right line and speed for your stroke.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – that’s a lot of information to take in! And you’d be right. Green reading is a complex skill that takes time and practice to truly master. But trust me, the more you do it, the more it will become second nature. And the payoff is huge – being able to consistently read the green correctly will give you the confidence to hole more 6-footers than ever before.

Developing a Reliable Putting Stroke

Okay, so you’ve got the green reading down pat. Now it’s time to focus on the other critical component of holing out from 6 feet – your putting stroke.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I’ve already got a putting stroke! Why do I need to change anything?” Well, my friend, let me tell you, there’s a big difference between a “putting stroke” and a truly reliable, repeatable putting stroke. And trust me, if you want to start holing more of those must-make 6-footers, you’re going to need the latter.

One of the key things I always focus on with my students is the importance of a consistent, pendulum-like swing. No more of this “wristy” or “armsy” stuff – we want a pure, smooth stroke that’s driven by the rotation of your shoulders. Imagine a grandfather clock, swinging back and forth in a perfectly straight line. That’s the kind of motion you’re aiming for.

And let’s talk about that grip for a minute, shall we? I know a lot of golfers out there like to experiment with all sorts of crazy grips – the claw, the arm-lock, the frying pan. But in my experience, the good old-fashioned “reverse overlap” grip is still the way to go. It just gives you that perfect balance of control and feel, allowing you to consistently square the putter face at impact.

But you know what really separates the great putters from the good ones? It’s all about that impact position. You see, far too many golfers let their putter head get too active through the hitting zone, resulting in those dreaded “pulled” or “pushed” putts. Not me, though – I’ve spent years perfecting a rock-solid impact position, where my putter head stays nice and stable, with the face squarely aligned to my target line.

And let’s not forget about the all-important matter of speed control. After all, what good is a perfectly read putt if you can’t get the speed just right? That’s why I’m a big believer in the “pendulum” method – keeping my backstroke and forward stroke symmetrical, and adjusting my overall swing length to control the distance. It’s a simple but incredibly effective way to start holing more of those must-make 6-footers.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Whoa, that’s a lot of technical stuff to remember!” And you’re absolutely right. Developing a reliable putting stroke is no easy feat. But trust me, the effort is more than worth it. Because when you can consistently deliver the putter head to the ball with precision and control, those 6-footers start to feel a whole lot less intimidating.

Conquering the Mental Game

Okay, so we’ve covered the technical aspects of green reading and developing a reliable putting stroke. But you know what they say – golf is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. And when it comes to holing out those 6-footers, the mental side of things can often be the make-or-break factor.

You see, the 6-footer is a unique beast in the world of golf. It’s not quite a “gimme,” but it’s also not a long-range putt that requires a major stroke of genius. And therein lies the problem – it’s that in-between distance that can really mess with your head.

I’ve seen it happen time and time again. A player sticks their approach shot to tap-in range, only to then step up to the ball and suddenly be overcome with self-doubt. “What if I miss this?” they start thinking. “I can’t afford a three-putt here.” And before you know it, that once-confident stroke has turned into a tentative, jerky motion, and the ball is rolling past the hole.

But you know what? I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right mental approach, you can conquer those 6-footers and start holing more of them than ever before.

One of the key things I always recommend to my students is to develop a pre-putt routine. Now, I’m not talking about some elaborate, superstitious ritual here – just a simple series of steps that you can rely on to help you get into the right mindset. Maybe it’s taking a deep breath, visualizing the perfect putt, or even stepping away from the ball for a moment to reset. Whatever works for you, the key is to make it a consistent part of your putting process.

And let’s talk about that self-doubt for a minute, shall we? Because let’s be honest, it’s the root cause of so many missed 6-footers. But you know what? We can’t let that negative voice in our head win. Instead, I encourage my students to focus on positive, confident thoughts. “I’ve got this.” “I know I can make this putt.” “I’ve holed out from this distance a hundred times before.”

And you know what else helps? Embracing the pressure. Look, I get it – standing over a must-make 6-footer can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. But instead of shying away from that tension, I challenge my students to lean into it. Revel in the butterflies in your stomach, the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Use that energy to fuel your focus and determination.

Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about – staying present, focused, and confident in the moment. Because when you can do that, those 6-footers start to feel a whole lot less intimidating. In fact, they start to feel like the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills and add another tally to the “made” column.

Putting It All Together

Alright, so we’ve covered a lot of ground here – green reading, developing a reliable putting stroke, and conquering the mental game. But the real question is, how do you take all of this information and start holing more 6-footers on the golf course?

Well, my friends, it all comes down to practice, practice, practice. And I’m not just talking about mindlessly rolling ball after ball on the practice green – I’m talking about a deliberate, focused approach that addresses all the elements we’ve discussed.

Start by dedicating a portion of your practice sessions to green reading. Grab a dozen or so balls, and set them up at various spots around the green, challenging yourself to accurately read the breaks and slopes. Pay attention to how the ball reacts, and make mental notes about what you’re learning.

Next, it’s time to work on that putting stroke. Set up a few alignment sticks or tees, and practice making smooth, pendulum-like strokes, focusing on keeping that putter face square through impact. Challenge yourself to start holing out from 6 feet, adjusting your stroke length as needed to control the speed.

And let’s not forget about the mental side of things. Incorporate your pre-putt routine into your practice sessions, and really focus on maintaining that positive, confident mindset. Visualize the ball dropping into the cup, and use that adrenaline to fuel your focus.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “That’s all well and good, but how do I take this stuff to the golf course?” And that’s a great question. The key is to make this a holistic, integrated approach. Don’t just work on your green reading or your putting stroke in isolation – make it a seamless part of your overall pre-shot routine.

When you approach a 6-footer on the course, take a moment to survey the green, just like you did in practice. Identify the key slopes and breaks, and plan your line accordingly. Then, step up to the ball, go through your pre-putt routine, and execute that smooth, confident stroke.

And you know what? If you miss the putt? No worries! Brush it off, and get ready for the next one. Because the more you commit to this process, the more those 6-footers are going to start finding the bottom of the cup.

So, my fellow golfers, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start holing more 6-footers and taking your game to the next level. Head on over to Eagle Ridge Golf Club and put these strategies to the test on our meticulously maintained greens. I’ll be there, holing out 6-footers left and right, and I can’t wait to see you join me.

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