How Patrick Cantlay became one of the best putters on tour
Photograph by Jensen Larson
The stats say I made 37 putts of 10 feet or more during the FedEx Cup Playoffs and gained 16.5 strokes on the field. Those are just numbers. All I know is that I felt like I was starting to putt like myself again. I was confident in my mechanics, putter and process, but mostly I was comfortable in the moment, locked in on making the best stroke possible each time out. At times, I was surprised when a putt didn’t go in. I guess there’s something to that. Confidence breeds success.
If you want my advice on how to hole more putts, start with a smart and efficient pre-shot routine. This includes “stalking” your putts. Walk around the green to get a sense for the contouring and speed of the putt and how much the ball will break before you get over it. The more information you process, the more your confidence will grow.
Then get comfortable at address. (I often take little steps with my feet until I feel set.) From there, let the energy of your stroke flow into the ball. No matter how far you want the ball to roll, the interaction between the putterface and ball should always be smooth. Don’t worry about the length of your follow-through; the only thing that changes is the length of the stroke into the ball. Make sure to turn off all mechanical thoughts when you’re standing over the putt. Trust that your inner athlete knows how to roll it to the hole. —with Mike Stachura