Jason Day has sneakily become the best putter on the planet. Sure, Jordan Spieth can get hot and put lights out, but Day is on a whole ‘nother level right now. This season, Day hasn’t missed inside five feet. Let that sink in for a moment. Day has hit nearly 200 putts inside five feet and hasn’t missed a single one. That is a mind-boggling stat. When you realize he’s putted on bumpy po annua grass, you just don’t know how he did it. He had to navigate Augusta National’s greens for four days. Over three courses and 125+ amateurs trampling all over Spyglass, Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach, and he didn’t miss a single putt inside five feet! Are you kidding me? At the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, Day continued his insane putting streak.
How does Day do it?
Day is often a slow player. There’s a reason he’s nicknames Jason “All” Day. He’s, no doubt, a deliberate player on the green. He’s robotic in how he approaches each putt. Everything is exactly the same. The steps are the same. The alignment is the same. Everything is exactly the same. This allows his mind to be able to make the same stroke each and every putt. When the tension of the moment is at it’s highest, his routine allows him to make putt after putt after putt.
When you do a motion over and over, it becomes routine and you don’t think about it. It’s the reason why so many golf instructors push for a pre-shot routine that doesn’t waiver. Do it every time you make a shot. It helps put the mind at ease and gives you the best chance to make a great pass at the ball. Even with players who don’t seem to have a routine, John Daly for example, they still have their pre-shot routine. It’s not as long as others, but it’s still there.
What can you learn from Day’s epic putting streak?
First and foremost, you need a repeatable putting stroke. If your stroke is all over the place, no pre-shot routine will save you. Get a repeatable stroke. When you do, come up with a pre-shot routine that fits your personality. If you’re someone who moves fast around the course, come up with a routine that is quick, like John Daly. If you’re someone who has a personality more like Fred Couples, some up with a more flowing pre-shot routine where ever movement blends with the next. Watch pros and look at their pre-shot routines on and off the greens. See how they differ. Watch a player who you think fits your personalty and draw from their pre-shot routines.
You will, without a doubt, save strokes if you have a routine that is repeatable. When you’re on a roll on the course, and the nerves start hitting, a repeatable pre-shot routine will help you deal with the situation and play the best you can. Just make sure your routine doesn’t delay your group or the groups behind you!
Watch Annika Sorenstam’s short video on pre-shot routines to help you start building your own!