Tour player learns to putt more freely

Earlier this week I had the privilege of an all-day coaching session with Matthew Guyatt. Matt plays here in Australia and on the Japanese tour.

I hadn’t met Matt before but through a mutual friend I had heard quite a bit about him. I learned that Matt is an excellent ball striker, has a wealth of talent and is an all round great bloke.

And after playing 36 holes with him I can testify that the above sentence is entirely true. Matt can really whack the golf ball and has all sorts of ability to make it talk. I’ve played with a lot of excellent golfers (both amateur and professional) but I’m not sure I’ve played with anyone better. The guy hardly missed a shot and really impressed with an ability to move the ball both ways at will.

Matt’s concern and the reason for our meeting had to do with putting. Like a lot of golfers who have mastered ball striking, he had gotten a little lost with the putting game. He was thinking too much and trying too hard.

Although this seems like the right thing to do, long-term, it leads to confusion and poor performance. And once you hit the skids, the harder you try and the more things you attempt, the worse off you become. It’s a contradiction that many golfers struggle to grasp.

Matt’s putting had become a source of frustration and he also mentioned that horrible “Y” word. The putting yips can bring a grown man to his knees and make the most talented golfer a basket case.

The way forward is to step back and approach the putting game like you would any other skill. You know, like riding a bike or throwing a ball.

But this can seem too easy and I wasn’t sure a player of Matt’s caliber would like that message. Although I knew I could help, there were some nerves and apprehension on my part because I wasn’t entirely sure Matt was ready for my message.

Any doubt was eroded in the first few minutes of meeting him. Matt was welcoming and open. I learned that he had tried many things to help his putting and was fed up. There’s a saying that sort of goes, “the teacher will show up when the student is ready”.

Matt was ready.

I’m not a fan of most practice environments. Not much good happens on the practice putting green or driving range. The golf course is where the magic lives and this was where I wanted to go. I wanted to see Matt putt in a realistic environment – everyone putts well on the practice putting green.

“Let’s do it”, said Matt. “Do we need to warm up?”.

“Let’s just go play. We can warm up on the golf course”, was my reply.

His opening tee shot was solid. He belted his 3 wood and only had 90 metres left in. When the uphill approach landed next to the pin, I could tell Matt had mastered the art of ball striking.

There was no apprehension. There was no self-doubt. He swung the club like there’s no tomorrow and he owned a ball flight that would make any amateur golfer jealous. For a very long time I’ve termed the art of playing this way “dancing”.

To the untrained eye Matt’s first putt wouldn’t have seemed out of the ordinary. But I’ve been watching golf and golfers for a long time and I feel I’ve got a special knack for seeing “flow”. Flow is another word for dancing. When you’re flowing there’s no apprehension and the motion has a rhythm to it that’s unmistakable. In my mind it’s almost impossible to play your best golf if you can’t learn to let your game flow. And new clubs or special tips from Golf Digest aren’t going to help you. Flow comes from within and can only truly be unleashed on the golf course when you can strike the ball without fear of the consequences.

Matt wasn’t flowing with his putting stroke. He was tentative and it was almost like he was happy to two putt. He left the ball a foot short of the hole. I had an 8 foot putt for par – I looked at the hole, walked in, got comfortable and pulled the trigger. When I looked up the ball dove into the center of the cup. It was my first putt in over 2 months but it felt like I had never missed a beat.

“How did your putt feel Matt?”, I asked.

“Not sure… I didn’t feel great… I don’t really know”, was the answer I received.

I continued, “Matt, your first two shots were perfect. And from a scientific/biomechanical point of view, they are incredibly complex. The skill, dexterity and timing required to hit a 250 metre drive and a lofted approach is staggering. Science showed me that it’s close to impossible to achieve, but the human system is quite amazing and you have been able to master this ability. With no warm up or too much thought you hit the ball to ten feet in two shots.”

“Putting on the other hand is way less complex. Kids can perform the motion no worries. You could give a putter to anyone and they should be able to roll the ball along the grass. But you’ve managed to complicate it. You’re not letting your instinctive ability putt the ball in the same way that you’re able to hit your full shots.”

Instantly Matt could appreciate where I was coming from. He was open to the concept and could see/hear/feel what I was on about. He spoke about putting as a kid, and how he’d simply look at the hole and let the putter head fire through the ball. No self-doubt. No fear. Just putting the ball into the hole. It was a perfect start to what would become a remarkable day.

The second hole is a par 5 and Matt let rip with a low bullet drive and then a flushed 5 iron. He got a little unlucky with the second, got a flyer and then a hard bounce on the back of the green. With a difficult recovery, he was ultimately left with a 30 foot putt for birdie.

Once again he looked timid. He didn’t commit to the putt, looked up too early (a sign that he was anxious of outcome) and wasn’t letting his putting game dance. The solution is simple. But it’s easy not to do. One of the hardest (I often say bravest) things a golfer will learn to do is hit/putt/chip without manual control.

This process can be called letting go, trusting your game or playing instinctively. Whatever one calls it, this process can be easier said than done. It takes guts because when you’re on the golf course it’s easy to step back into bad habits.

It’s easy to be fooled into thinking about results or concern yourself about technique or some other thing. But when you let go, there’s no panic about HOW you’re performing. You give in and hit the shot in the moment, having full trust that you’ll find the target.

And there’s no guarantee that doing so will result in fairways hit and putts holed. There are no guarantees. But, this way of playing maximises your chances – the odds are in your favour and this can only be a good thing.

And it’s easier too. Less energy and brain cells used. You can walk off the course feeling energised and alive and not like you’ve gone five rounds with Mike Tyson.

So this was my challenge to Matt. Putt like there’s no tomorrow. Putt the ball like you’ve already made it. Learn to putt again like you did as a kid. Putt the ball HOW you really want.

His first putt on the third wasn’t great, again, he wasn’t settled and didn’t let the stroke flow.

“C’mon Matt. You’ve got to let go and stop trying so hard. Relax and feel the putter in your hand”, was my reply. His next putt hit the back of the hole.

He was away.

From a coaching point of view there wasn’t much more I could do. I didn’t need to add more ideas or concepts. What he needed was simplification and encouragement. So I took a step back and watched from the sidelines…

… and as each hole passed it was clear he started to dance and let the putts flow. He wasn’t trying to putt better. He wasn’t complicating this simple task, but rather, he was letting his best putting game find him.

His speed was vastly improved. His language changed. He started making more putts. He was putting in his own little bubble, free from internal and external distractions.

This is no quick fix. It’s not a miracle cure and it will take time. But the more he does it the better he will get. And in a few weeks, months or maybe a year or so (there’s no exact time frame) Matt will truly experience putting at the instinctive level. He’ll realise that he’s putting the ball just like he smashes a tee ball.

And from here nothing will stop him from playing his very best golf.

Mini update: I spoke with Matt yesterday and he said the last four days have been great. No yips and he is enjoying putting more than ever.

If you’d like to read Matt’s story you can do so here

Resource: If you’d like to read my book on putting and how you can putt more naturally and free from fear, check it out over here.


Comment using Facebook


  • JD Williams

    Reply Reply August 9, 2015

    A pro who was having putting problems at the same time Tom Watson had his putting problems said: “I think Tom’s worse-off than I am. He actually listens to those tips from the sky-caps.” Sounds like Matt was almost that desperate when you two found each other. Glad you did and more power to both of you. I’ll watch for his name from now on.

  • 3 Putt

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    I have found in observations over the years the worst putters are the ones that take the longest over the ball and who grip the club too tightly. You can see it a mile off. My other favourites are the 3 or 4 careful practice swings on every putt – guaranteed 36 putts per round.

  • Ze Sir

    Reply Reply December 19, 2015

    Courage goes a long way.

  • Andre

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Excellent post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Thank you!

  • D-Fine8 Ingredients

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    I cling on to listening to the news update talk about getting
    free online grant applications so I have been looking around
    for the best site to get one. Could you tell me please,
    where could i get some?

    my web blog … D-Fine8 Ingredients

  • Rapid Keto Cut Review

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    I simply wished to thank you so much yet again. I am not sure what I would’ve taken care of
    without those information discussed by you on such problem.
    This has been a depressing scenario for me personally, however , finding out a new professional form you handled it made me to leap with contentment.
    I am grateful for this service and even wish you comprehend what a
    powerful job you have been getting into educating many people through your websites.
    More than likely you’ve never met any of us.

    my website: Rapid Keto Cut Review

  • If some one needs expert view regarding blogging then i
    recommend him/her to pay a visit this web site, Keep up the pleasant work.

    Feel free to surf to my website: Pure Remedy CBD Review

  • Remarkable! Its actually remarkable post, I have got much clear idea regarding
    from this article.

    Also visit my web blog; Arctic Air Portable AC

  • Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your
    site in web explorer, may test this? IE still is the market chief and a
    large part of other people will omit your wonderful writing because of this problem.

    Here is my website … vo Naturals Hemp Gummy Bears

  • Erexzen Ingredients

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to
    say wonderful blog!

    Here is my website :: Erexzen Ingredients

  • IQ SuperCharged

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be
    running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with
    internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue solved
    soon. Thanks

    My homepage; IQ SuperCharged

  • Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to
    mention that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing on your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!

  • Keto Fat Burn Reviews

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool.
    I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site.
    It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for
    extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just could
    not come across. What an ideal web-site.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog … Keto Fat Burn Reviews

  • OracleLeaf CBD

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Hello there, just was aware of your weblog through Google, and located that it is truly informative.
    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful in the event you continue this in future.
    Lots of other folks will probably be benefited out of your writing.

    Also visit my blog post :: OracleLeaf CBD

  • D-Fine8

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    It’s remarkable designed for me to have a web page, which
    is beneficial for my experience. thanks admin

    My site D-Fine8

  • Keto LeanX

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    excellent post, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite
    experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue
    your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

    Feel free to visit my web blog – Keto LeanX

  • Hi there all, here every one is sharing these kinds of familiarity, thus it’s
    fastidious to read this webpage, and I used to go to see this weblog all the time.

    Here is my web blog :: Hempizor CBD Reviews (

  • Elise

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this website.
    He was once totally right. This submit actually made my day.

    You can not consider simply how much time I had spent
    for this information! Thanks!

  • You have remarked very interesting points!
    ps nice internet site.

    Feel free to visit my web site :: Keto LeanX Ingredients

  • Very clean website, regards for this post.

    Look into my homepage :: Slim X Keto Ingredients

  • IQ SuperCharged

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Quality posts is the crucial to attract the visitors to pay a quick visit
    the website, that’s what this web page is providing.

    My page; IQ SuperCharged


    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    That is very attention-grabbing, You are an excessively skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for in the hunt for
    more of your fantastic post. Additionally, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

    My blog:


    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    I am always thought about this, thank you for putting up.

    Review my site


    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites
    for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress
    content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

    Feel free to visit my web-site ::

  • Top-notch post indeed. Friend on mine has been seeking for this information.

    Visit my web page: Testo Bull Ingredients

  • Selena

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wondering your situation; many of us have created some
    nice procedures and we are looking to swap methods with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if

  • SynerSooth CBD

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Utterly indited written content, thank you for selective information.

    Here is my site SynerSooth CBD

  • My relatives all the time say that I am wasting my time here
    at web, except I know I am getting experience everyday by reading such nice
    articles or reviews.

    Here is my webpage :: Spore Mens Vitality Mix Ingredients

  • Mari

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    you’re in reality a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing.
    It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent activity in this topic!

    Take a look at my website … Mari

  • photography

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Hi, afteг reazding this amazing post i am also glaɗ to share my knowledgе
    here with friends.

  • Re ViVium

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    I used to be suggested this blog by way of my cousin. I am no longer certain whether this post is written by
    him as no one else recognize such certain about my trouble.
    You are incredible! Thank you!

    Review my website Re ViVium

  • Hey! Ι know this is someԝhat off tooic but I was wondеring
    whhich blg platform are you uѕing for thiss site? I’m gettging sick and tired of WordPress beause Ӏ’ve
    had issues with hackers and I’m looking at optіons for another platform.

    I woulⅾ be great if you could pokint me in the direction of a good platform.

  • Sion Cooler

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    You’ve made some decent points there. I checked
    on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go
    along with your views on this site.

    Also visit my site :: Sion Cooler

  • Maximum Recall

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website.
    Studying this info So i am satisfied to convey that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
    I such a lot no doubt will make certain to do not overlook this site and provides it a glance regularly.

    Look into my site – Maximum Recall

  • Bonnie

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover an individual who
    actually knows what they are talking about on the net.
    You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people should read this and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised that you are not more popular because you definitely have
    the gift.

    Also visit my webpage … Bonnie

  • budnbee

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    Tһanks for the auspicious wrіteup. It in reality used too be a ⅼeiѕure account it.

    Look complex to far introⅾuced agreeabⅼe from you!
    Howeveг, how can wwe keep inn tоuch?

  • Oracle Leaf CBD

    Reply Reply August 17, 2021

    I go to see day-to-day some blogs and websites to read content, however this website presents feature
    based writing.

    Here is my website Oracle Leaf CBD

  • Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this.
    We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from
    this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

    Here is my web page – Oracle Leaf CBD Review

  • My brother suggested I might like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This post actually made my day.
    You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

    Also visit my blog Spore Mens Vitality Mix Side Effects

  • Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring
    on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and
    would love to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my viewers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely
    interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

    Here is my web blog – Spore Mens Vitality Mix Reviews

  • Are you gonna be a togel online player? Look
    into the news in the site first to get the most popular
    information. You will find correct estimations and how
    to take up.


    Reply Reply August 18, 2021

    Hi i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also
    make comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.

    Also visit my blog ::

  • Vigalix Reviews

    Reply Reply August 18, 2021

    Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the good effort.

    my web page … Vigalix Reviews

  • Antwan

    Reply Reply August 18, 2021

    You’re so cool! I do not think I have read a single thing like this before.
    So wonderful to discover another person with some original thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  • Insights CBD Oil

    Reply Reply August 19, 2021

    I was just seeking this information for some time.
    After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it
    in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google
    strategy that do not rank this kind of informative websites in top
    of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.

    Here is my website Insights CBD Oil

  • diet plan

    Reply Reply August 19, 2021

    Thank you for your own work on this blog. Debby loves getting into investigations and it is obvious why.
    A lot of people learn all regarding the lively method you produce vital tips and
    tricks through your web site and therefore strongly encourage response from other people on the
    subject then my princess is without question discovering a
    lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the new year. Your conducting a really good job.

  • Hi there friends, its wonderful article on the topic of teachingand entirely explained,
    keep it up all the time.

    My web-site … Brilliance Keto Review

  • funny t shirt designs

    Reply Reply August 31, 2021

    It’s enormous thаt you are getting ideas from this article aѕ
    well as from ouг argument made here.

  • omega 3 source

    Reply Reply October 8, 2021

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice
    from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your
    own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

    Feel free to visit my web-site; omega 3 source

  • sbo

    Reply Reply November 19, 2021

    865681 286093I always pay a visit to your weblog and retrieve everything you post here but I never commented but today when I saw this post, I couldnt stop myself from commenting here. Great write-up mate! 814254

  • Miracle Gainz online

    Reply Reply December 3, 2021

    What’s up mates, its fantastic piece of writing regarding cultureand fully explained, keep
    it up all the time.

  • Meadow Park CBD Review

    Reply Reply December 18, 2021

    Good web site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written.
    I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made.

    I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick!
    Have a nice day!

  • Miracle Gainz Review

    Reply Reply December 18, 2021

    Hello There. I found your blog the use of msn. That is a really neatly written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll definitely return.

  • Owl Premium CBD Gummies

    Reply Reply December 21, 2021

    Merely wanna comment on few general things, The website layout is perfect, the content material is very superb :D.

  • Highly energetic blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be a
    part 2?

  • Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t fail me as much as this
    one. After all, I know it was my choice to read,
    nonetheless I really thought you would have something helpful to
    say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you were not too busy searching for

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field