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Marc Leishman: Must-Make Mentality - Australian Golf Digest Marc Leishman: Must-Make Mentality - Australian Golf Digest

How Cam Smith and I work on pressure putts can help you tidy up your scorecard, too.

When it comes to working on my game, I’m always looking at where I can make up shots. I ask myself: where’s the easiest place I can improve and save shots? 

Right now, I’m driving it as well as I probably ever have and I feel my iron play has always been pretty good, but I’m always trying to maintain both. 

Where I feel I can improve the most is with my wedges and putting.

If you can make two more putts a week, get one more up-and-down, or chip it closer so you’re not putting from eight feet – you’re putting from three to five feet instead – that’s a game-changer for any golfer with any handicap.


When it comes to putting, a lot of players talk about distance control. I try to never think about distance control. Last year, I had a bit of trouble in the first half of the season with my putter alignment, so I do a bit of string-line work to keep my stroke in check along with a bit of mirror work to make sure my body’s square. The thing that I’ve probably changed the most over the past six months are the drills I’m doing pre-tournament with the Ripper GC boys.

During LIV Golf practice rounds and pro-am days, Cam (Smith), Jonesy (Matt Jones) and I like do this drill around the hole. We need to putt four four-foot putts, three six-footers, two eight-footers and a 10-footer to finish. You always finish on the 10-footer. The key to this drill is you have to make all the putts in a row as you go around the circle and you keep going until you finish it. If you miss, you start all over again.

It always puts a bit of pressure on that final 10-footer, especially when I really want some lunch or want to go home or I’ve got to go to the first tee. Those last few putts really become must-make or you’re stuck on the practice green until you do. 

Practising with a little bit of pressure, even though it’s not tournament pressure, instills that level of concentration and focus needed out on the course in big moments. In this drill, you don’t want to miss that final 10-footer and have to go back and do it all again. The way I’m now practising, particularly on my short game, has definitely helped me become more competitive.


Having some of the best putters on the planet in your team, guys like Cam and Lucas Herbert, is pretty cool when you’re trying to pick up a few things that can improve your own putting. Putting is an art. You don’t necessarily want to try to copy someone else – I feel like you’ve still got to go about it the way you go about it. But you can certainly pick up little things along the way to help you improve. That’s what I’m trying to do with the Ripper GC boys: pick up a thing here or there that’s going to help me not try to be like them, but help make incremental changes that will benefit my game. It’s one of the underrated benefits of playing on the LIV tour, just being able to talk about how the greens are rolling, breaking or certain holes that might be a bit quirky. It’s one of the added bonuses of constantly being in a team environment. Being able to talk about stuff over dinner is pretty nice. It’s like having your own therapy session. Not that we talk about golf that much, particularly Cam and me, but to be able to just do that, and know he’s thinking the same thing, it’s reassuring. 

Photos:  liv golf