How to Attack a Sidehill Putt

By Steve Silverman

The difference between an average putter and a good one can mean as much 5 to 10 strokes every round. Golfers who understand putting realize that it takes a lot of practice to excel in this area. This is particularly true of tough and twisting sidehill putts. They require careful study and excellent touch on the green.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Study the type of putt you will be facing as you walk up the fairway toward the green. This look will help give you the big picture. You will study your putt from closer quarters once you are on the green, but you will get a feel for your basic positioning as you walk toward the green.
Step 2
Study the breaks of the green from your position. A sidehill putt is likely to have one break and perhaps more on its journey to the hole. The best way to see these breaks is to get behind your ball and look for the dips and twists in the green and then to walk the length of the putt to see if you can spot any additional twists.
Step 3
Play the first break you know your ball will face. If you see a break that will send your ball dipping to the left, play it to the right, so it has a chance to get to the hole. You can't guarantee that you will hit the second break, but if you play the first break accurately, you have a reasonable chance of hitting the second break on the green.
Step 4
Walk up to your ball, take one practice swing and then hit your putt. Golfers who take two or three practice swings before putting often find themselves struggling on the green because they take too long. You have looked at your lie while walking to the green, you have studied your shot carefully and you have even walked the length of your putt. Now hit it without delay and you should get a positive result.
Step 5
Hold your putter about 6 inches lower than normal on a putt that you believe has more than one break. Holding your putter somewhat lower than normal will give you a greater feel for the club and should help you hit an accurate putt.

Tips & Warnings

Practice your putting on the practice green, hitting 10 to 15 putts before you start your round.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.


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