Challenge and threat states predict future performance; however, no research has examined their immediate effect on motor task performance. The present study examined the effect of challenge and threat states on golf putting performance and several possible mechanisms. One hundred twenty-seven participants were assigned to a challenge or threat group and performed six putts during which emotions, gaze, putting kinematics, muscle activity, and performance were recorded. Challenge and threat states were successively manipulated via task instructions. The challenge group performed more accurately, reported more favorable emotions, and displayed more effective gaze, putting kinematics, and muscle activity than the threat group. Multiple putting kinematic variables mediated the relationship between group and performance, suggesting that challenge and threat states impact performance at a predominately kinematic level.