Drop Strokes From The Green

Five different ways you can drop strokes by improving your performance on the putting green

Here's the weird thing about the game of golf. As you get better and your handicap goes down, it actually becomes more difficult to cut strokes from your score. I can usually help a high-handicapper improve pretty quickly, but the better my students get, the tougher it is to whittle strokes off their scores.

I'm not saying it's impossible, though, quite the contrary. If you want to make a dent in your scores and shoot lower numbers, it's imperative you work on your putting abilities. In the next few pages, I've outlined five different ways you can drop strokes by improving your performance on the putting green. Just remember, these tips aren't designed to produce easy, immediate results. And no matter what, you're probably going to miss more putts than you make. But with diligence, patience and determination, these tips will help you drain more putts and drop strokes from your scores.


When you're assessing your putts, always do so from behind the ball and track where you think the ball will roll with your eyes. Don't just stare at the cup; look at the entire length the ball will roll. Do this for long and short putts alike.

If you practice from the side like this, you won't see all the break and your distance perception will suffer. I see this error a lot, and often my students are looking at the cup and nothing else as they make practice strokes.

If you have a breaking putt (I placed a tee for you to see the apex of this short putt), consider evaluating the putt from behind the apex, not the hole. The apex is your aim point anyway, so you may as well get the true picture of the break.

If I look at this breaking putt from behind the hole, my mind's eye won't know where to aim when I set up over the ball. It's always better to get behind the point where you're aiming (the tee) and align to it rather than get crisscrossed.

Finally, whether you're facing straight or breaking putts, always look up as you make your practice strokes. Get your eyes off your putter, and start sensing the motion, length and tempo of your putting stroke.

Don't develop the habit of watching your putter move back and forth! You'll do the same when you actually putt a ball, and rarely will you produce good results. Get your eyes on the line as you get ready, then on the ball when you execute the putt.


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