Scariest Shot #6: Sinking Downhill Four-footers

downhll-Putt

This shot looks easier than it is. One problem is speed. If you putt it too hard, the ball might roll way past the hole, giving you a tough shot coming back. Another problem is steering the ball. If you try to steer the ball to the hole, you invariably miss the shot by a wide margin. Don’t let this shot fool you.

Below are 6 keys to making this shot:

  • Decide on the putt’s speed
  • Make a practice stroke or two
  • Pick a spot to roll the ball over
  • Keep your grip light
  • Grip down an inch or two.

Some players will putt this ball off the club’s toe. But that can lead to poor direction on the putt. Instead, use the sweet spot of the putter and focus on hitting the putt with the right speed.

Take a close look at the putt. Then decide on the speed you need. Take a little bit of time making this decision because the putt’s speed will determine its line. Now make a couple of practice strokes. Match the speed of the practice strokes with the actual shot’s speed.

Next, pick a spot on the green to roll the ball over. Or, imagine a stripe from the ball to the hole. Visualize the ball rolling over either and into the hole.

To combat the tendency to steer the ball into the hole, set your stance so that the distance between your feet matches the length of stroke you want. Then play the ball in the middle of your stance. Swing back to your back foot and through to your front foot.

This adjustment prevents you from making the abbreviated stroke players often make when trying to steer into the hole.

Also, keep your grip pressure light. If the green is really slick, grip down an inch or two to shorten the arc. Now swing through.

Follow the key above the next time you have a downhill four-footer and you’ll sink the putt every time.

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