There is nothing more frustrating in golf than missing your putts due to involuntary flicks of the wrist, last second hesitation preventing a natural gesture, or even moving before you have even finished your gesture.

Little tip for your putting

Illustrative image - © Pixabay - Public domain

To remedy this, we'll take a closer look at how to properly use your breathing while executing a putt, and then apply the psychological subtlety that comes with it.


  1. It is a phase of respiration during which atmospheric air enters the body and the lungs.
  2. To have inspiration, a sudden idea that pushes to create, to act without there being any need for reasoning.

If this phase of breathing has two definitions, it is not by chance because they are interdependent.

Indeed, the air we breathe acts on our mental activity, awakens our imagination pushing us to act, thus provoking these ideomotor movements (out of our will) through the vagus nerve (cranial nerve that directs motor information , sensory, sensory and vegetative parasympathetic).

To put it simply, when we inspire our thoughts are activated (doubt, uncertainty, impatience), give life to our emotions (stress, pressure, feverishness) thus generating these famous muscular reactions which poison our game (strokes of the wrist, tension, sensation discomfort…).

Just as inhaling, blocking your breathing during a putt will be just as ineffective and counter-productive (blocking and muscle tension, loss of sensations,…).

The expiration:

  1. Phase of respiration during which air is expelled.
  2. End a fixed time, a deadline, of a function.

As you breathe out, you decrease your mental activity as well as your emotions (you create a vacuum), you gradually release your muscular tensions leaving room for your sensations. You are now in the ideal state to putt more serenely.

How to properly adjust this expiration to your putting?

Start by exhaling 2-3 seconds before putting to relax any muscle tension and clear your head. Then putt while continuing to exhale until the end of your movement.

Be careful, the goal is not to hyperventilate, or to force yourself. Try to keep it natural and be aware of the positive effects that a calm, slow exhale can have on your putting. As time goes by, it will become more and more peaceful, natural, almost imperceptible. If you were already doing this without realizing it, that's already great, but now is the time to realize it BECAUSE THE MOST INTERESTING IS TO COME.

When you pay attention to the proper execution of your exhale and other subtleties throughout your stroke, you are performing what is called a “switch” or distraction.

Indeed, by remaining focused on a series of small attentions, of which breathing is part, you are totally focused on a process beneficial for your golf, (see article on routines) thus allowing you to move away from possible thoughts, emotions and sensations that could interfere with your game. By paying attention to the right adjustments, you are in the present moment, and enjoy trusting the process. You are in the ideal frame of mind before, during, and after executing your putt.

Not being aware of these psychological subtleties and especially not understanding what they can bring you, are partly responsible for your moments of discomfort and uncertainty inducing your failures. It's playing with a part of chance, hoping to be lucky.

Your body is the instigator of your disability. Understanding how certain human mechanisms work in order to take control is mastering your body, mastering your body is mastering your mind, and mastering your mind is mastering your game. With simple adjustments, you treat yourself. the opportunity to train more effectively, while having a real influence on your progress.

"Focus on the solutions, not the problems". Jack Nicklaus

Brice Touchard, course management coach,

To read our last article on the same subject:

Routines, these key elements to progress in golf