August 2017

Drop three putts in a row over 20 feet, and what can anyone say? Other than maybe you had a strong feeling each was going in, probably not much. But I recently hit upon a term that, at least, begins to describe what I feel when I’m putting great: blackout. When I’m in “blackout,” I have zero thoughts about my setup or stroke. I’m not even thinking about speed. There’s no challenge in my stance, no body parts pushing for position. I just step in and I’m immediately comfortable. All I see is the arc of a putt with enhanced clarity. Say, the gentle swoop of a 12-footer that breaks a foot. The blur of the ball’s path and that path alone burns in my mind – nothing else. My stroke is simply a reaction to make that path come alive, to come to be, with the roll of the ball. Now all that might sound goofy. It’s a hard thing to explain. What I can state clearly is, I’m not always in blackout, as much as I wish I were. And as effortless as I might make it out to be, it takes work and preparation to get in that mode. I make no guarantees, but I can show you how I’ve been able to get there. Maybe you can, too.