Play Your Best: Shortcuts by Tom WatsonSeptember 23, 2014

Dimple Solution

My dad's No. 1 tip still works

"Don't peek to see where the ball is going."

The first putting lesson I ever had was from my father, and I continue to use and recommend what he told me. It helped me win the Kansas City Match Play at 14, and that started my dream of becoming a pro. Dad said to pick out a dimple in the middle of the back of the ball and hit that dimple with the middle of the putter, keeping your eyes on it as you swing through.

It's a great way to make sure your head stays still and to develop a consistent stroke. What happens with most amateurs—and even me sometimes—is they tend to look up too soon to see where the ball is going. When you do that, you'll likely hit too close to the toe or the heel of the putter. Center-face contact is the key to making putts.

If there's an alignment mark on the top of your putterhead, use that to help you strike the ball with the center of the face. Trust me, your scores will drop.

with Nick Seitz

ELEMENTARY WATSON

When you practice your putting, step away from the cup from time to time and forget about holing putts. Focus on making strokes where the center of the putter strikes the ball. You'll roll more putts on line and at the right speed.

Tom Watson was captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team.