You may be familiar with the concept of missing breaking putts on the “pro” side or the “amateur” side of the cup.
The terminology refers to the pros’ tendency to miss on the high side of the hole, which gives the ball a chance to drop as it goes past. Amateurs, on the other hand, typically err by playing too little break – and once the ball crosses below the cup, gravity is no longer your friend.
Even when an everyday golfer read putts properly, the stroke doesn’t always cooperate. Rather than swinging the putter on the chosen line, he unwittingly strokes the ball more directly at the hole. This is especially true on putts that break away from the body (to the right for a right-handed player).
Here’s a drill to help get your breaking putts rolling on the correct line:
- On the practice green, find a 5-foot putt with at least 3 inches of break.
- Place two golf balls side by side a few inches short of the cup, directly aligned with the ball to be putted.
- To make the putt you must keep the ball from hitting the obstacles; you’ll have to stroke it on the right line to miss them on the high side.
Once on the course, imagine the same obstacles in the path of your breaking putts. When you do miss, it will more often be on the “pro” side. Better yet, you’ll miss less frequently.