Start Every Putt on a Great Line

Take the mys­tery out of miss­ing left or right

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Play Your Best -

t can be aw­fully frus­trat­ing when you read a putt per­fectly, give it a con­fi­dent rap and then see it roll nowhere near the line you picked.

This is a case of the put­ter­face not be­ing square to your in­tended line when you hit the ball. Face align­ment is, by miles, the big­gest in­flu­encer of di­rec­tion. The trick is to set the face ac­cu­rately, and then re­turn it at im­pact to the same po­si­tion.

First, square the face be­hind the ball and take your grip. Look at the po­si­tion of the back of your left hand (for right­ies). Then, just fo­cus on that hand: If it comes back at im­pact look­ing the same

Iway it did at ad­dress, the face is square. This will hap­pen if the hands work as a team, with­out one over­pow­er­ing the other.

Dur­ing the stroke, one of two things of­ten goes wrong. Some golfers flip the right wrist at im­pact, which over-ac­cel­er­ates the put­ter­head and closes the face. (Those putts miss to the left.) Oth­ers shove the left hand to­ward the tar­get on the for­ward stroke, which over-ac­cel­er­ates the han­dle and leaves the face open. (Those putts miss right.)

In­stead, match the ac­cel­er­a­tion of your hands and the put­ter­head. Do that, and you’ll like what you see when you look up.


Grab a striped range ball and find a straight eight-foot putt. Us­ing two tees, cre­ate a “gate” a lit­tle wider than the ball and about 18 inches to­ward the hole. Then set the ball down so the stripe is per­fectly ver­ti­cal, fac­ing the cup, and stroke the putt. If the stripe stays steady dur­ing the roll—no wob­bling—and the ball goes through the gate, your put­ter­face was square to the hole at im­pact. That putt’s go­ing in.

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