Don’t toss your indoor putting mat in the summer
The feeling of walking down a well-maintained fairway and putting on pure greens is hard to beat. Every golfer knows the feeling and thrives for it. It’s not surprising that we all stop thinking about practicing inside. Who in their right mind would pick an indoor golf simulator over a round outside in the warmth, or a putting mat over a real green, right? Well, you might want to reconsider the putting part! Let me explain why.
Playing on an indoor green in the summer, never mind buying one, seems absurd for most golfers. Why would you practice your putting on an artificial green when you can do it on the real thing? Most golfers argue that they have to practice putting in a surrounding where they actually need it, which is on the golf course. After all, doing the transfer from indoors to outdoors seems an unnecessary sidestep. But is it really? Well, to answer that question you need to consider why you came to that conclusion in the first place.
Is putting on an indoor putting mat that different from outdoor?
.In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions by customers is how do I transfer my knowledge from PuttView to outdoors? Let’s look at the hard facts. Putting on an indoor putting mat is really not that different from putting outside. Your stroke is not going to change. Therefore, if you are working on gaining consistency with your stroke or any other stroke-related matter, it doesn’t make a difference where you do it, as long as you can replicate the swing itself. The next step would be to work on other skills related to putting. Maybe you want to improve on your green reading. One of the fundamentals of this skill is the ability to predict breaks correctly. Once you are able to do that, it again won’t matter where you do it as the concept of reading the green doesn’t change. This brings us to line and speed. Being able to hit your ball on your intended line is once more an ability that doesn’t require any transfer to the outdoors. Either you can do it, or you can’t. Speed practice, however, is where it gets a little trickier. Obviously, speed will change once you change greens. But the truth of the matter is, that it will change daily and throughout the day, even if you stay on the same green every time you practice. The same doesn’t hold true for your green at home.
The reason so many people believe it makes a huge difference to practice your putting indoors while having no such issues with practicing their full swing on a golf simulator is because the surface and therefore the conditions change with putting. That concern, however, is unnecessary. Instead, you should really focus on practicing your putting indoors, even during the summer. As we have established, you do not have to have any special knowledge about how to transfer your progress on an indoor green to the outdoors or vice versa. But that doesn’t mean it won’t matter where you practice. There are things and benefits that you can gain indoors, that you simply can’t replicate or gain outdoors. One of those being the conditions you face. Yes, it is true that putting outside on the practice green is closer to what you will face on the course. At the same time, doing this is like taking a random horse from a field and signing it up for a race. Just because it is a horse, doesn’t mean it is fit for the race. Professional athletes always try to train and practice their sports in ideal conditions. And so should you. Giving yourself a surrounding with predictable parameters will help you eliminate other factors that might influence the result. Outside you have no influence on the turf conditions and there is no definite way to determine where your errors originated from. Instead, it might mislead you in a way that will do more harm than good. Indoor you know exactly what you are dealing with. The conditions remain the same and are completely independent of the weather, growth of the grass, green maintenance, or other influences.
You might start to argue now, that you will have to be able to hole the putts on imperfect greens and not in a laboratory surrounding. True, but again, this is cutting in line. One of the key things in golf is confidence in your abilities. So, the question is, how do you gain confidence? Certainly not by continuously hitting putts on a surface where you have no idea what is happening. First, you need to evaluate where your misses come from and what your strong suit is. One way to do that is with PuttView. Due to the fact, that you can tell PuttView to show you the Ideal Line, Aiming Line as well as visualize the slope, you also know whether you were able to start the ball on your intended line and match it with the correct speed or if this is something you should work on. In the next step, you can focus on those tasks and facilitate all the visuals and practice opportunities PuttView offers while you will inevitably be able to see your progress and built trust in those key areas of putting. Now, that you know you can trust your visualization and your abilities, you can truly be confident outside. There will be no second-guessing on why that putt missed. Instead, you can focus on the process and trust that you have the right tools at your hand in order to putt the ball into the hole.
Another way to gain confidence is through repetition. Most golfers know this drill. Try to make 100 putts from 3 ft without missing one. Of course, the number and distance can be amended, yet the essential learning from this is, that you will be able to do those putts even when you are asleep. Outdoors, however, you will face the problem that once you leave your position and come back the next day, it is not the same anymore. On your indoor green, you will always be able to trust you will find the exact same conditions as the last time you practiced. Like that you can repeat the same exact drills and putts over and over again, all while trusting that you are able to complete the task.
Thinking about which tools and abilities you need in order to get better at putting is a question that many golfers ask themselves. The problem is that they stop asking those questions during the summer. A lot of players go out and believe they don’t need any indoor practice since they are on the real greens. For them, any indoor solution is only viable during the cold months when they can’t get on a golf course. If you happen to be one of those players, then you might want to reconsider this thought process. As mentioned above, it is especially difficult to improve on your putting without an indoor solution like for example PuttView. Unlike a Trackman or a QC Quad that you can take with you outside and get the data you are looking for, you can’t create an outdoor scenario that will give you the same feedback and conditions as PuttView Indoor. Additionally, by stopping your indoor practice during the summer months, you lose your baseline. Having a laboratory surrounding can be an invaluable way to calibrate yourself and cross-check whether errors are creeping into your game. So, the next time you think about ditching your indoor putting until it gets colder again, remind yourself at what point of the year practicing and trusting your abilities is most important and how you can achieve that.