How to Out-Think Scary Fast Putts

By Steve Silverman

One of the most intimidating aspects of the game of golf is learning how to handle downhill putts. On these putts, the ball rolls with a lot of speed. Misreading these putts can cause you to miss the hole by 10 feet or more.


Difficulty: Challenging
Step 1
Walk up to your ball and look at the hole and the course your ball will travel. You will notice a downhill path, and this is where the speed will come from. Some greens can be fast naturally, but the fastest putts also have a downhill slope.
Step 2
Walk toward the hold. Notice the ridges that will add speed to the putt and cause the ball to break. You will need to keep these in mind as you prepare to hit your putt.
Step 3
Walk up to your ball and determine how hard you will have to hit the ball in order to get it to the downhill crown of the green. Once you hit this spot, your ball will roll on its own the rest of the way to the hole.
Step 4
Commit to yourself once you have read the green. Yes, it's scary to hit a fast putt that can roll 10 feet past the hole. However, if you have read the green correctly and found the breaks, it's just a matter of committing to your decision and hitting the putt. Don't waver as you stand over your shot. Go for it.
Step 5
Don't baby your putt. You still have to hit it. Even if the putt is so fast that it will roll quickly downhill, you still have to stroke the ball and not push it. Have the courage to hit your putt with confidence.

Tips & Warnings

Take only one practice stroke. Do not stand over the putt for 30 or 40 seconds. That will only increase tension.

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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