Chris DiMarco on what makes a great clutch putter

Every golfer has had to stare down a putt under pressure. While they aren’t easy to navigate — and can cause anxiety and tension in your stroke — the best players are able to succeed no matter how high the stakes.

In the most recent episode of GOLF’s Subpar podcast, three-time PGA Tour winner Chris DiMarco talked about a number of different topics; one of which was how to have more success on pressure-packed putts.

With three runner-up finishes in three different majors during his time on the PGA Tour, DiMarco has a reputation for being fantastic with the flat stick when the lights are the brightest. So when he had the chance to share some secrets about improving in this area, he was more than happy to share his wisdom.

The keys to putting under pressure

DiMarco was asked if putting under pressure is more about having great technique and mechanics, or if it’s more about something mentally. He said it takes a little bit of both to see success.

“I think it’s a combination of the two. A good routine goes a long way, but confidence is probably the biggest thing,” he says. “When I say confidence, I think it’s wanting the ball. There have been times in my career when I hadn’t felt comfortable and I didn’t really want the ball; because I didn’t want to hit that putt in front of people.”

But DiMarco said that by changing his putter grip [to the claw], he was able to regain confidence in his putting stroke — and develop what he needed to sink putts under pressure.

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“Once I went to the claw, I felt like I was going to put a good stroke on it,” he adds. “When you can put a good stroke on it, it takes all the nerves away.

“I visualize it going in, and I visualize the crowd going crazy. It really goes a long way when you can get into that type of visualization.”

Finally, DiMarco recalled a memory from Jack Nicklaus‘ final Open Championship, explaining how the best players step up in the biggest moments.

“Look at Jack Nicklaus. Anytime it mattered most, he knew he was going to make the putt,” DiMarco exclaims. “I remember the last Open Championship [Nicklaus] ever played in, he had a 15-footer for birdie…of course, he made it!

“Great players like that, in [pressure] situations like that, just know how to do it and make it go in. They will it to go into the hole.”

For more from DiMarco, including the differences of what it’s like playing with Woods vs. Phil Mickelson, listen here or watch the YouTube video below.

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