By Keely Levins
The 2017 Masters champion is, in the truest sense, a feel player. Golf fans saw that on display at the 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship, where Sergio Garcia putted with his eyes closed for the entire championship (and he claimed he’s been doing it since his 2017 Masters victory).
Sergio’s never been one to speak technically about his swing, but we’ve managed to compile some tips from him over the years. Here are what we deem the six most valuable. Check them out and see if you can apply them to your game:
When you’re putting, don’t overthink it.
As evidenced by his unorthodox approach at the 2020 Sanderson Farms, Sergio has some unique takes on putting: “I think everything you do before you hit a putt should be done quickly. When I read the break, I do it from behind the ball and sometimes from the lower side of the putt. But I don’t like to look at it from the other side of the hole. That can put doubt in your mind about what the putt’s going to do. Once I have the line, I walk in, set up and hit the putt without hesitation.”
Hit long putts to teach yourself feel.
“I like to practice long putting, from 30 to 60 feet. I think this is where you develop feel. And when you get good at these long putts, it makes the medium-range putts feel makeable.”
Believe in your line — Even if it might be wrong.
“Don’t worry about having the read wrong. That’s going to happen every once in a while. Believe you’ve picked the right line. Then, if you can put a confident stroke on the ball and start it on that line, it’s going to have a great chance to drop.”
Powerful posture is key.
“I like to feel tall and relaxed at address. A lot of golfers hunch over the ball and really tense up, which restricts the whole motion. You want to be athletic, never rigid. “
Keep your takeaway short.
“My swing is more compact than it used to be — you can see I’m not quite to parallel — and that helps my control. There’s value to the old tip: ‘Keep your head down.’
“The ball is long gone, and I’m still basically in the same posture I was at impact. If you struggle to hit the ball solid, focus on staying down longer.”