Play More Break, Make More Putts

Putting Aim_0035

Stop Missing “Low”

There’s a reason that missing on the low side is known as missing on the amateur side: most amateur golfers read too little break in their putts.  In this lesson, I’ll show you why you’re probably not playing enough break and how you can change that and make more putts.

This Lesson Is For You If:

You struggle to read greens

You miss your putts on the “low” side

Aiming at the Apex

The Lesson

The lesson here can be summed up in one sentence: “The apex is not the aim point.”

Apex of the Putt

Let’s start by defining those two terms.  The apex of the putt is the high point of the break (see the picture above).  The aimpoint is the spot that you’re aiming at.

Why are they not the same?  Because although the break that we see comes in the later parts of the putt, the ball actually starts breaking as soon as it’s struck.  That means that the apex of the putt is well below the point that you should be aiming at.

Putting Aim_0038

The Drill

To break the habit of aiming at the apex, you need to see a “higher” target line.  This is going to take some repetition.

Go to your putting green and find a 10-15 foot putt with substantial break.  Using either a string (elevated or not) or some tees, mark a starting spot and define your aim point.  Hit some putts and check the result.  If your aim is good for your speed, go ahead and make a lot of putts.  Focus on how “high” the target is.  Then find a new breaking putt and repeat.

Be sure to work on putts that are right to left and left to right, uphill and downhill.  Make note in your mind of which putts are farthest from your natural aiming tendencies.

As you work on this drill more, you’ll see your green reading improve along with your ability to control speed, hit your lines, and make more putts.

 

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Matt Saternus

Co-founder, Director of Instruction at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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2 Comments

  1. The big problem is when the putt starts breaking a couple feet after you hit it. It takes nerve to hit it high enough. I am going to take an Aim Point lesson next month to see if it helps.

  2. Suppose this is why the advice “see the break, then double/treble it” often works!