So Darren Clarke, supported by two sports psychologists, Bob Rotella and Mike Finnigan, is 2011 Open Champion. Mike Finnigan was working with the Ulsterman on his attitude and motivation. Rotella on the critical details of golf performance.
More specifically, Rotella was helping Clarke on his putting. Or Unconscious Putting as the golf psychologist described it.
As Darren putted beautifully under pressure on Day Four, the strategy was very successful. But what is Unconscious Putting? And more importantly, how do you do it?
Well the key to Unconscious Putting, is having a clear picture of the image or outcome that you want. Then ‘letting go’ and trusting your natural skills to deliver that outcome. Sounds simple doesn’t it!
It means having no fear of failure; no concerns about missing; no thoughts about technique; a clear uncluttered mind. Simply seeing the putt. Then hitting it. Thats it!
It requires practise. Especially in the white heat of competition. To lead the Open Championship and play this way, takes a great deal of trust in your putting touch.
But in reality anyone can do it. It doesnt take strength, power or force. Merely the ability to let go of pre-conceived outcomes and simply ‘see it and hit it’. And of course, deal with the consequences of missing.
It’s the essence of putting. And the key to success all over the course.