I have played other good players who have thought I had no “nerve” at all. The only difference has been that if I was putting well and had the gage I would putt well no matter whom I played, and if I was “off” my putt all my will power and determination were only emphasizing the cause of my bad putting, and that was “setting” my muscles.
For the encouragement of those players who have been inclined at times to think they lacked “nerve,” I can say that it is probably more the “setting” of the muscles than lack of courage that puts them off in their putting.
The average man has the average courage, and give him a reasonable chance of knowing what to do he can do it. Older men and youngsters can putt because they don’t care. They go at the cup freely and give their muscles their natural play, but to the ambitious man this matter of “setting” the muscles is a serious one.
When it is realized that nothing will cause the tension to the muscles or “setting” them so much as anxiety, it will readily be understood what a field this one item will open up. If the player deliberately adopts a style which requires him to brace or “set” him-self, he can be sure that he is bound to go off his putting, and all the will power in the world will not hole the putts, because it makes it very nearly a physical impossibility to do so.
It is unnatural to believe that a man with courage in everything else will not display it in putting if he has the knowledge of how to putt and understands the cause of his failure to do so. This is why I say that it is not a matter of “nerve” at all, but knowledge of how to do it and willingness to give the muscles a chance that make a good putter.