How to Handle Fast Downhillers

Saturday August 9th, 2008
Determine the "speed spot" (the point where the putt really picks up speed as it travels downhill) and make it your target.
Schecter Lee

This story is for you if...

• You consistently blow downhill putts way past the hole...
• ...or get timid with them and leave them short.

Try This!

When you face a slick, downhill putt, follow these steps:

1. Read the Slope

Walk halfway between the ball and the hole to get a sense of the slope. Use your imagination to envision how the ball will behave. Where will it break? How far do you need to hit it before the slope can carry it the rest of the way?

2. Pick Your Spot

Once you've determined how the slope will affect the putt, identify your "speed spot," the spot you need to reach until the slope will carry the ball the rest of the way. That spot is now the hole for you—keep the real hole out of your mind. If you've determined that this putt will break, then move your speed spot to the side to allow for how you think the putt will curve.

3. Commit to It

Make your putt with a rhythmic, pendulum-like stroke. The most important thing is to make a mental commitment to the spot. If you waffle mentally, you'll leave this putt short.

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