Throughout the season, Canadian golf stars Adam Hadwin, David Hearn and Graham DeLaet will check in with Globalnews老域名出售 to provide readers with candid insights as they compete on the PGA Tour.
It is amazing the snowball you can create, and the confidence you gain, when you start making a few putts. For years when I played on PGA Tour Canada and the Web老域名购买 Tour I couldn’t visualize my putts going in. I just couldn’t see them, and when you can’t see the result, as strange as it might sound to some, it is tough to make it happen.
That’s changed in the last couple of years. I can see the ball going in the hole before I stroke the putt. Now I’m used to it and when I step up to a 20-foot putt I’m confident I can make it. That’s a huge change for me because I used to think, ‘How do I avoid making a three-putt from here?’ and now I feel I’ll make a good stroke and positive things will happen.
READ MORE: David Hearn: Mastering the art of putting is a process
When it comes to around the greens and putting I was never that confident in the past, but I was always aggressive with my ball striking. But the amount of time, practice and effort I’ve put into my putting is paying dividends.
To my way of thinking, there’s no secret in how I’ve become an improved putter. I’ve placed emphasis in the past couple of years to make putting a strong part of my game because it wasn’t previously. My best guess on my success in the past year is that this is a lot of hard work paying off and I think I’ve improved from last year.
That said, I don’t put a ton of faith in stats. When it comes to a stat like “strokes gained putting,” a relatively new one on the PGA Tour, it would appear putting is the best part of my game. But that stat has its own methodology, so I don’t spend much time considering what those numbers mean.
If you are a great ball striker that hits 15 greens a round, and if they have 20-foot putts all the time, you aren’t going to make a lot. On the other hand I haven’t hit the ball as well, and have a lot of 40-foot putts or chips from off the greens. That’s different. Certainly though I’m not making many three putts, which goes into the strokes gain putting stat. I’ve been doing very well with that and my speed control has been great.
And honestly, I’ve had to figure out how to become a good putter just to be competitive out here. I’ve had to putt well to make money. I haven’t consistently hit it that well and I’ve learned to make 30-foot putts because that’s what I’ve needed to do. I think it is my caddy getting better at reading greens, hard work and seeing the lines.
Overall the year so far has gone really well. My goal this year was to get into a rhythm of playing and I snuck into some weekends in my first tournaments in 2016. I also had a great weekend in Palm Springs where I played my way into the final group and was tied for the lead heading into the back nine.
READ MORE: Canadian golf stars Hadwin, Hearn and DeLaet represent Shaw in 2016
I enjoy being in the mix—just like I was at the RBC Canadian Open when it was at Shaughnessy in 2011. I’m looking forward to experiencing more of that. The announcers in Palm Springs also seemed to have fun saying that I’m from Moosejaw, Sask. Yes, I was born in Moosejaw, but I left there when I was one. Abbotsford, BC, is where I grew up and it will always be home.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep my great play up in Palm Springs, but I’m proud of how I finished the tournament. I hit some great shots in the final holes when I could have gone backwards.
Overall, everything is going well. I’ve played five of seven weekends in 2016, and I’m excited to play the rest of the year with the confidence I have right now.
Shaw Golf stars Adam Hadwin and David Hearn are both playing in this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, which airs on Global TV Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20.