Reading Your Target Line When Putting

By John Wagner

There are many factors that influence the ball as it is rolling to the hole. Successful putters know how to identify these factors in order to read the proper line. By making a few observations, you can learn to read the proper line.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Squat down behind the ball and look to the hole. Determine if there is a slope that will affect your putt. The ball will break away from rises and slopes.
Step 2
Look at the putt from the side view. The side view can help reveal subtle slopes or rises.
Step 3
Look at the grass to see which way it is growing. Bermuda grass has grain that will affect the putt. Grain will typically grow toward the southwest. The ball will want to follow the direction of the grain.
Step 4
Determine the speed you want to hit the putt. The speed you hit the putt determines how much the ball will break. Putts hit firm will break less than putts hit soft.
Step 5
Pick a target line and make a confident stroke. Once you have factored in slope, grain and speed, you should be fully committed to a target line.

Tips & Warnings

Play more break than you think on longer putts.

About The Author

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with over eight years of experience. As a certified GolfTEC and Chuck Cook golf instructor, he has given over 3,000 golf lessons. John writes for and has over 40 articles published.

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