A better way to approach breaking putts with Butch Harmon

By Butch Harmon  

Photo by J.D. Cuban

If your breaking putts tend to miss on the low side, I’d bet your problem is how you look at the putt from over the ball.

Most golfers spend too much time staring at the hole, and then putt toward it—after all, that’s where you want to end up. But you have to discipline yourself to focus on the route to the hole, not the hole itself.

Try this routine: Read the green from behind the ball, and imagine the first six inches of the putt as a trough aimed where you want to start the ball. When you step in, you can trace your eyes along the line, but make your last look at that trough. If your last look is at the hole, you probably won’t get the ball started with enough room to break.

Last tip: On breaking putts, imagine the center of the hole shifted toward the high side. If 6 o’clock is dead center on a straight putt, the center on a left-to-right breaker might be 8 o’clock. When you do look at the hole, picture the new center. You’ll hit more putts on line. —WITH PETER MORRICE

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