Here’s how to trick your opponent into giving you more putts
We’ve all been there. Playing a reasonably harmless money match against a friend of ours who just refuses to give any putts whatsoever. It’s very annoying. Or, at least, it used to be very annoying. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen to me very much anymore.
Because back in my junior golf days I developed a foolproof strategy that has never let me down, and almost always results in getting a lot of short putts being given to me, no questions asked.
In essence, the strategy is a simple one: Run down the clock.
When you’re playing an opponent who isn’t giving you a short putt, don’t just accept it. Your goal is to use it as an opportunity to take the upper hand yourself. In being made to finish out, I now have the floor — and the opportunity to do whatever I want with it. So, in those moments, what I choose to do is everything in my power to wind down the clock. To make the process as long and tedious for my opponent as humanly possible.
It works every time, for a few reasons:
- First, because nobody likes watching a slow player. It’s annoying, and frustrating.
- Second, it makes your opponent begin to doubt their decision, and with every passing wipe of the putter blade, potentially feel guilty about it.
- Third, it puts pressure on your opponent, especially if he’s the host, for fear of playing too slow and holding up the groups behind him.
I admit, it’s a bit dastardly, but that’s sort of the point. It’s gamesmanship, and if you’re shaky over short putts, it’s a simple way to stack the deck in your advantage during the match.
If you’re unsure how to draw out the process of hitting a short putt, below are the 22-steps I often use in such cases. You’ll probably have to hit one or two short putts early in the round, but by making the process as slow and painful as possible, you’ll find your opponent giving you a lot more putts to save himself the pain.
1. Express Light-Hearted Surprise
“Oh wow, tough crowd!”
2. Mark Ball
3. Clean Golf Ball
4. Fix Ball Markers
5. Read Putt
Make sure you read all the nooks and crannies.
6. Remove Leaves and Other Objects From Green
7. Walk Around Putt
8. Read Putt From Opposite Side
Important to get another look
9. Walk Around Putt Again
10. Read Putt Again
Might have missed something the first time.
11. Line Up Ball
12. Check Line
13. Adjust Line
14. Check Line
15. Remove Ball Marker
16. Check Line
17. Begin Pre-Shot Routine
18. Back Off Putt
Wasn’t feeling it.
19. Begin Pre-Shot Routine For Second Time
20. Hit Putt
21. Pick Up Ball
22. Express Light-Hearted Relief
“Making me work for it!”