lesson teeAugust 12, 2013

Why You Never Make This Putt

Fix these two mistakes, and start rolling them in

The toughest putt for right-handed golfers is the one that breaks to the right. First, they typically don't aim far enough outside the hole on breaking putts, but on these in particular, they subconsciously adjust their body lines to the right as they look at the hole. Second, it's harder to release the putter on left-to-righters, because the tendency is to shove the ball to the hole.

The solution: __Pick an intermediate target, then commit to that point and think of the putt as straight.__As a drill, find a left-to-righter, and stick a tee several feet down your intended line. Align your body just left of the tee and forget the hole—focus on your contact with the ball. Make sure the putter releases so the face is square or slightly closed through impact (above). You'll be amazed how many putts finish just left of the cup or go in on the high side.

TOUR FACTS

Through July, Inbee Park led the LPGA Tour in putting at 28.5 putts per round. She grips left-hand-low, which levels her shoulders and also lets her release the putter without cupping her left wrist. She rocks her left shoulder up going through, which puts a great roll on it. And because her left wrist stays firm, she hits with a square clubface—and a ton of confidence.

JIM MCLEAN, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, runs Jim McLean Golf Schools, based at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami.