Assigning Blame for Missed Putts

    When you miss a putt, it can be difficult to know how to assign blame. Why did the putt roll past the hole on one side or the other? Did you make a poor read? Did you miss your target line because of poor alignment, or because of a poor stroke? There are a lot of questions, and answers can be hard to come by. Of course, it is important to properly identify where you went wrong, as finding the root cause of the problem will take you a big step closer to finding a solution.

    There are a couple ways you can look for solutions to your putting problems. For one, you can simply ask a friend or playing partner to watch your putts carefully. If you miss, ask them if it looked like you pushed or pulled the ball off line, or if you were simply aimed in the wrong spot to begin with. This is not a perfect option, as it is up to the subjective opinion of another player, but it is better than nothing. When you combine their viewpoint with your own, you might be able to come to some pretty solid conclusions.

    As another option, you can try using a video recording to see what is going on with your stroke. You aren’t going to do this on the course during a round, but it can help during practice. Set up a camera a few feet behind the ball, or ask a friend to hold the camera, and then hit a few putts. When you watch the video, see if the ball seems to be jumping off to one side or the other as soon as it leaves the putter. This type of video will give you a pretty good idea of what is happening when your putts go off track.

    Aligning your putter properly before making your stroke is one of the best ways you can improve your performance on the greens. It is easy to get wrapped up in the mechanics of your stroke – which are important – but you would be wise to think about your setup as well. Practice your setup process consistently and trust that it is going to work for you when out on the course. Making more putts will not only save you strokes, but it will help you to build confidence that can be used on the rest of the course. Good luck!