To win at The Masters, players must win on Augusta's greens. The putting surfaces at Augusta National are like no others — severely undulated and glassy, but as true and fair as any greens on earth.
Success on the greens at The Masters begins with proper planning and an understanding that the speed and breaks you experience on Thursday are not the same as the ones you’ll face on Sunday.
Titleist staff member James Sieckmann shared tips that he’s developed from more than 20 years of preparing players for the putting, chipping and mental challenges they’ll experience at The Masters.
Mental Tips for Putting Mastery
1. Confidence Comes with Preparation
On every green, it’s crucial to understand the best locations from which to putt. A longer uphill putt is usually easier than a shorter downhill putt. Canvas every pin location on each green and formulate a strategy for where you want to leave each approach shot.
2. Breathe through the Stress
Heavy breathing is a natural response to stress, and tournament golf - particularly major tournament golf - is as stressful as it gets. Many tour players control their nerves by controlling their breathing, with calm and restful nasal breathe cycles.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Turn Your Back to the Hole
Over the course of a tournament, the greens will speed up. A putt that normally breaks 15 feet may break 22 feet, as there is less friction to affect the roll. The bigger break may require a shift in alignment to get the ball started on the right line. On severe slopes this may even require you to turn your back to the hole. Don’t let this worry you. Just trust your read and focus on the proper pave and getting the ball started on the correct path.
For more great instruction from James, check out his tips on the Uphill Bunker Shot and be sure to visit his online Modern Short Game Academy.
Looking for additional putting practice tips? Explore drills for accurate putting or aligning your putt with Michael Breed.