Stop Leaving yourself the Wrong First Putt

Tuesday April 29th, 2008
The fat parts of the green may look tempting, but the putts they leave can be killers.
Leonard Kamsler

Situation: Your ball is in the fairway, 60 yards from the hole.

Common mistake: You play to the fat part of the green to avoid trouble, but this puts you in three-putt territory.

The right play: Before you set up for any approach shot from inside 100 yards, take the extra time to divide the green into numbered quadrants, using the pin as the midpoint. Then examine each quadrant to determine which one is the most likely to leave you with the easiest uphill putt.

How to do it: When you divide the photo at left into quadrants, you're left with two large areas to the left of the pin and two smaller ones to the right. Moving clockwise from the back right, number the quadrants 1, 2, 3 and 4. At first glance, you might be tempted to aim at quadrant 3 or 4, but each of those will leave you with a downhill putt, and you can't be aggressive when putting downhill.

Quadrant 1 will also leave you a downhill putt, so you're left with quadrant 2. This may be a tougher shot, but from inside 100 yards you should be able to get your ball there and have the easiest putt on the green: straight uphill.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN