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Caveman59

Short, Downhill Breaking Putt Strategy

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Everyone has a different strategy and methods for all types of putts.  I'm curious as to strategy on short, downhill breaking putts. Ben Crenshaw advised playing these type of putts, more off the toe,  instead of the sweet spot.  I have always used this method and it has worked pretty well.  He said that a person tends to decelerate the club head on these types of putts and that he played the putt in this manner.   Just wanted to see what everyone else thought about this subject. 

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Each attempt is a unique adventure.  My latest strategy is to imagine the ball hitting the stick and dropping in.

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I use AimPoint to determine the break. Then it is all just about speed and my start line. I putt like I normally due because I aim the putter face better from the center. I also think about taking a shorter stroke than I think it need for the same distance flat putt.

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I've never cared for intentionally mis-hitting putts.

Just get a read and deliver the right speed. Same as every other putt.

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16 minutes ago, iacas said:

I've never cared for intentionally mis-hitting putts.

Just get a read and deliver the right speed. Same as every other putt.

I think this tip might fall into this category. It's sometimes very hard to hit a putt that slow. When the result of what you thought was a very easy hit putt is 6 FT past the hole, I might consider deadening the strike a bit.

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3 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I think this tip might fall into this category. It's sometimes very hard to hit a putt that slow. When the result of what you thought was a very easy hit putt is 6 FT past the hole, I might consider deadening the strike a bit.

You can't hit a putt one foot? Six inches?

For the putt to "break" downhill much, you're automatically hitting it somewhere, because if you're jutting it two inches it's not really breaking - it's just traveling downhill and somehow got hung up on a clump of grass or something.

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22 minutes ago, iacas said:

For the putt to "break" downhill much, you're automatically hitting it somewhere, because if you're jutting it two inches it's not really breaking - it's just traveling downhill and somehow got hung up on a clump of grass or something.

There are situations were you need to make that exact putt for a longer distance.

Yes, I would say it's difficult to hit a putt that short. Maybe it's a technique issue. Do you try to decelerate or do you try to move the putter very little?

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7 hours ago, Caveman59 said:

Everyone has a different strategy and methods for all types of putts.  I'm curious as to strategy on short, downhill breaking putts. Ben Crenshaw advised playing these type of putts, more off the toe,  instead of the sweet spot.  I have always used this method and it has worked pretty well.  He said that a person tends to decelerate the club head on these types of putts and that he played the putt in this manner.   Just wanted to see what everyone else thought about this subject. 

I'm not a big fan of this method. I've heard it from many people, however. I didn't know that Ben Crenshaw was the originator. I've always felt the simpler you can make something the better. So, I try my best to commit to speed and a stroke and then just hit it like every other putt. I really try not to "Out-think the room". 

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4 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Yes, I would say it's difficult to hit a putt that short. Maybe it's a technique issue. Do you try to decelerate or do you try to move the putter very little?

You just hit the putt six inches or whatever. I'm not sure what's so complicated?

I also doubt the OP is talking about a putt you literally only have to hit six inches.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

You just hit the putt six inches or whatever. I'm not sure what's so complicated?

Like my old football coach used to say "Don't think, it can only hurt the team."

Seems applicable here. Are we overthinking this?

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7 hours ago, Caveman59 said:

Everyone has a different strategy and methods for all types of putts.  I'm curious as to strategy on short, downhill breaking putts. Ben Crenshaw advised playing these type of putts, more off the toe,  instead of the sweet spot.  I have always used this method and it has worked pretty well.  He said that a person tends to decelerate the club head on these types of putts and that he played the putt in this manner.   Just wanted to see what everyone else thought about this subject. 

I use a similar technique. The shorter and more breaking putts are struck off the toe. Even a normal downhill-ish put is struck towards the toe with a normal stroke. It takes some of the "pop" off the putt. At least that is the theory and it seems to work well for me. It isn't always a question of 'over' thinking the putt, since it is now my normal technique I'm not thinking any more about that putt than any other.

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Now that you can keep the flag in, I am re-thinking my strategy on these type of putts.  Just keep the flag in and be a bit more firm.

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After I get my read, and starting line of the putt, I hit every putt the same way. No heel, or toe hits for me, but I do see the value of that instruction. I have friends who mak it work for themselves. 

I hit the ball on the same part of the putter face eveytime. My only concern is to hit a straight putt, on my chosen line. That straight, chosen line may, or may not be directly at the flag.

As for up hill, down hill, or flat putts, I regulate the speed/distance of the putt with a longer, normal, or shorter back strokes, in harmony with my same follow though forward.  These different length back strokes are part of my bundle of practice routines. I actuallyly practice  the tougher putts more than the easier ones. 

After I hit the putt, I either make it, or I don't. If I did everything right with first putt, and miss, the second putt should be much easier. 

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10 minutes ago, Yukari said:

Now that you can keep the flag in, I am re-thinking my strategy on these type of putts.  Just keep the flag in and be a bit more firm.

You still have to hit the middle one and a half inches of the hole or so.  And if you don’t now you are faced with a long come back putt.

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30 minutes ago, RayG said:

It takes some of the "pop" off the putt. 

Or you could just putt it slower and still hit it out of the center?

I've never heard of this method until this thread. It doesn't make sense to me.

That'd be like me saying a stock PW is my 140 club, but I only want this one to go 130 so I'm going to hit it off the toe on purpose. 

Why would you want to mishit a club on purpose? Wouldn't hitting the putter on towards the toe make the putter more likely to twist/rotate which would make it harder to start the ball on your intended line?

Edited by klineka

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On another note, hitting the ball off the toe of the putter, and getting good results, may depend on the type of putter being use. Perhaps where the shaft connects to the putter could be an issue.

Some putter faces may tend to open more than others on toe hits. An opening club face at impact could send the ball off it's intended line. 

Just a thought.

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As others of said My strategy on this is aimpoint (express) to determine break and my intended line. Then match the speed. 

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