Panic ButtonJune 11, 2016

Stop Missing Makeable Birdie Putts

Quick tips on how to make the most of short putts

Every once in a while, you’re going to hit a great shot into the green and have a few feet left for birdie. It’s a double edged sword: exciting that you’ve hit such a nice shot, but that upcoming putt is terrifying and can feel easy to miss.

Swing coach Jeff Ritter says short putts are about precision.

If it’s going to go in, the ball needs to start on the right line. To do that, Ritter says to think of the back palm like a second putterface. Your back palm needs to look in the direction of the hole, because it’s determining the direction of the putterface. If you can keep that palm on the right line, you’re going to keep your putterface square, so your ball is going to roll on the right line, too.

One thing that can be detrimental to your goal of keeping the putterface square is head movement. Everyone's eager to see where the putt is going to go, but a lot of people pull their heads up too early, yanking the putterhead off line. Instead, Ritter says to keep your head down, and wait to hear it go in the hole.