RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links


Tom Watson: Two Keys For Short Putts

By Tom Watson Photos by Dom Furore
April 22, 2012

Short putts are all too easy to miss, at any level of the game. But two simple things can help you make more of them.

First, try to hit the middle of the ball in the middle of the putterface. To make center contact, align the sidestamp of the ball with the aim mark on your putter (inset). Almost all putters today are designed with the sweet spot behind that alignment aid.


Next, when you stroke the putt, keep your head down for a count of at least one second after the ball is gone. You might want to think to yourself one-thousand one before looking up, especially on a must-make putt.

I made sure not to look up too soon last year when I made a putt to win the Senior PGA Championship in a playoff.

Sam Snead always said to listen for that sweet rattle when the ball hits the bottom of the cup. This helps keep the stroke accelerating and also keeps the putterface square to your putting line.

You would be surprised how often these two fundamentals are neglected. But sticking to them will make you a better putter.

Tom Watson is a Golf Digest Playing Editor and the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.