This story is for you if…
• Your short putts tail off to the right.
• You don’t get lag putts close enough to the hole for an easy second putt.
The Common Wisdom
Swing your putter slightly up into the ball to produce a pure end-over-end roll.
Why It’s Misleading
The amount of upswing is minimal (just a degree or so). It’s so small that if you actually try to hit up into the ball, you’ll overdo it and get more skid and less roll. Plus, hitting up invariably opens up and adds loft to your putterface, which explains why you miss a lot of putts short and to the right.
What to Do Instead
Turn all your thoughts to making solid contact. Imagine that there’s a tee attached to the sweet spot of your putter, with the pointed end aimed at your target. Visualize driving the point on the tee into a dimple in the center of the ball when you make your stroke. This picture is a good one to help you strike the ball squarely and with the right amount of loft. Even better, you won’t have to worry about swinging up into the ball. Your short putts won’t tail off and you’ll have better distance control when lagging long putts close.