Master Breaking Putts with this Basic Golf Drill

Mastering the art of reading and sinking breaking putts can greatly improve your performance on the greens. Here's a basic golf drill that can help you develop your skills in this area:

  1. Set up a Practice Putting Green: Find a practice putting green or create a simulated green at home using alignment sticks or other markers. Ideally, the green should have some contours or slopes to replicate real-life putting situations.
  2. Place Tees or Alignment Sticks: Insert two tees or use alignment sticks on the green to create a starting line for your putts. Position them slightly wider than your putter head.
  3. Choose a Breaking Putt: Select a breaking putt that curves from right to left (for a right-handed golfer; reverse the direction if you're left-handed). The amount of break will depend on the slope of the green or the distance you choose.
  4. Read the Break: Take your time to assess the slope and break of the putt. Walk around the hole, crouch down to get a low perspective, and visualize the line the ball needs to travel to reach the hole.
  5. Line Up and Execute the Putt: Stand behind the ball and align yourself to the intended target line, accounting for the break. Focus on the spot where you want to start the ball to allow for the curve. Set up with a consistent stance, grip, and posture.
  6. Putt with Smooth Stroke: Make a smooth, controlled stroke while maintaining a steady head position. Aim to start the ball on the intended line, allowing it to break towards the hole. Pay attention to the speed and feel of the putt, as distance control is crucial on breaking putts.
  7. Repeat and Adjust: Repeat the drill, adjusting the break and distance as needed. Experiment with different slopes and lengths to challenge yourself and improve your ability to read and adapt to various breaking putts.
  8. Track Results and Analyze: Keep track of the putts you make and miss during the drill. Take note of any patterns or tendencies in your stroke or misreads. Analyze your results to identify areas for improvement and adjust your technique or green reading skills accordingly.

Consistent practice and repetition of this drill will enhance your ability to read and sink breaking putts. As you become more proficient, you can gradually increase the difficulty by choosing putts with more pronounced breaks or longer distances.

Remember to stay patient, as mastering breaking putts takes time and experience. Working with a golf instructor or coach can provide additional guidance and personalized feedback to help you refine your technique and become more effective on breaking putts.

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.