How to Improve Your Accuracy on Downhill Putts

By John Elliott, Jr.

Here is the scenario; I have hit a nice iron shot into this green. I have already marked my ball, I have replaced it and I find myself with about a fifteen or sixteen footer. The problem is that it is a downhill putt.

How to Read a Downhill Putt

You don't want to read downhill putts from above the slope.

  • The first thing that I would do is walk to the low side of the hole, or the low side of the slope. I want to get down nice and low so that I can see how much slope I am actually dealing with. I have about a foot of drop on a sixteen foot putt. Also from over here I notice that the ball will be breaking to my left as you are looking at my back.
  • The second read is now from the low side of the break. I am getting a feeling of the slope that is now moving towards me. Finally I go back up to the ball; I don't really want to look at it again from behind because I get the wrong feedback.

I have a downhill putt, breaking from my left to my right. Watch. You can see that when the ball finishes below the hole and behind the hole I did a really good on my speed and my direction. The thing is that I would not have done nearly as good a job had I read it from someplace else. Low side of the hole. Low side of the break. You will make more putts.


Category: Reading Greens

About the Instructor

John Elliott, Jr.
John Elliott, Jr.
St. Andrews Golf & Country Club
3N441 Route 59
West Chicago, IL 60185
Tel: 630-231-3160

John Elliott, Jr., is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #39 instructor in the world. He is the head professional at the Country Club of Ocala in Ocala, Florida.