Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands


Shadow Putting

By Butch Harmon Photos by J.D. Cuban
February 24, 2015

Of all the silly excuses for missing putts, being distracted by your shadow has to be near the top. But it's a real thing that a lot of golfers struggle with. Be careful that it doesn't become a hang-up for you.

The good news is, your shadow's not there when you're reading a putt, so you should be able to get a clear line. That's the first key on short putts. Then, when you get over the ball, it's all about aiming the putterface on that line. I picture a trough three or four inches wide that runs to the hole. I know if I get my ball in that trough, it's got a good chance. Whatever you do, really focus on getting the face aimed precisely. Then settle into your stance, look once down the line to confirm, and go.

When you start rolling in putts, you'll find a use for your shadow: watching yourself make fist pumps.


On short putts, it's often your attitude that determines the outcome. Try to replace the doubt in your head with thoughts like My aim is perfect or This one's going in. Simple, but you'll be amazed how well you putt. I promise you, all good putters think they're making it.

Butch Harmon is based at Rio Secco Golf Club near Las Vegas.