One of the most frustrating things in golf is missing putts consistently. There’s nothing worse than standing over a putt hoping you don’t miss it… instead of having the attitude you can make it.
But if you’re only missing putts in one direction, it’s usually a pretty easy issue to fix. If you’re hitting putts right, left, short, and long, it’s a bit harder to fix (but still easier than fixing your full golf swing).
Continue reading to find out how to correct common errors that can lead to missed putts in the hole.
Missing Putts Right – 7 Reasons
If you found this article chances are you’re asking yourself, “Why am I missing my putts to the right?”
It’s a good question to ask yourself because most golfers use their putting 30 to 50% of all strokes during the round. It is obvious that a cold putter can make for a long day out on the course.
You can score higher scores if you improve your putting speed.
Its 10X easier to diagnose your putting ability than your entire swing. Sometimes it can take months or even years to fix your swing. With putting, however, you can diagnose your stroke and update it in just a few minutes.
For the sake of this article, let’s assume you’re a right-handed golfer. If you’re missing putts on the right side of the hole, it’s likely from one of these reasons.
1. Check your alignment
Before making any major adjustments to your equipment or changing your stroke, make sure you check your alignment. If you’re missing putts to the right it could be from simply aiming further right than you think.
Many golfers struggle with alignment, both in the putting and swing.. If you aren’t aimed properly, everything gets 10X harder as you have to make corrections in your swing or stroke to adjust. Aka, you develop bad habits subconsciously.
Begin with a friend Record your putting stroke from behind the line. This view makes it easy to see if you’re setting up right of your intended. This video will show you how to objectively view the roll of the putt without worrying about the break.
Check your alignment of your shoulders and feet when assessing your video. Both should be aimed directly at the middle of the hole if it’s a straight putt. Your shoulders may open if your feet are straight.
Alignment sticks can be used to help you improve your putting skills. This is a great way to get your feet in a good starting position.
If you are aiming high, continue reading to fix the problem that is causing you to miss the putts on your right.
2. Ball Position
Be sure to keep an eye on your setup position before you change your stroke. The ball position during putting is the second reason you might miss a putt to the right.
To record your putting stroke, a friend can either record it from a face-on angle, or use a tripod to hold your phone.
If the ball gets too far back in your stance, it’s easy to miss putts right. You should aim to keep the ball in front of your stance.
This will help you to hit the putt in the middle of the face and ensure that you are at the correct spot. To see how this affects the roll, you can experiment on putting green with different ball position. Some players might find it easier to putter more up or down toward the middle depending on their putter loft, length, or forward press.
3. Ball off the Toe
Another thing to consider is the direction the ball is being directed at the putters face. The ball could be missing from the clubs toe if it isnt hitting the target.
At setup, it’s critical that the ball is aimed at the middle of the putter face. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up to miss right if it’s on the toe or left if it’s off the heel.
The top of almost all new putters has easy-to use alignment aids. This will make it much easier to place a square on the target area. But if you’re using an older putter, you might not have those alignment aids.
I’ve had this issue before and switching putters made all the difference. You can find some of our favorite putters below.
- Best beginner putters
- Our Favorite Blade Putters
- Our Favorite Mallet Putters
Distance from the Ball
If you don’t want to buy a new putter, make sure to check how far you are away from the golf ball. It is possible to set up with the ball off the toe if your feet are too far away.
As Golf Digest said, “If you stand too close to the ball, you’ll make an out-to-in stroke. Too close, and the stroke path is in to out. Most tour pros stand 2¼ to 2¾ putterheads from the inside edge of the ball to the toe line (left). To confirm your distance is good, have a friend make sure your putterhead tracks slightly to the inside on the backstroke and inside again after impact.”
A putting mirror that has a built-in putter track is a great way to feel your backstroke more inside.
4. Pushed Putts
An improper stroke is the fourth reason why you might be missing putts. If you consistently miss right, you’re pushing putts, likely from an incorrect move on your backstroke.
If you head the putter too far back, its easy to push putts wrong.
This is especially true if you use a putter that doesn’t have a lot of toe hang (which shuts the face as you reach impact). The natural path of the putter should be slightly inside. However, too much can make the face difficult to square at impact.
To fix this issue, use one of our favorite training aids – The Putting TutorDave Pelz This training aid gives you instant feedback about your start line.
The board has spots on both sides for two marbles, which you can use to putt them through. If your ball hits the marbles on the right side, you’re pushing putts and starting on the wrong line. This will lead to you consistently missing putts.
Keep at it until you are able to consistently roll the ball through all the marbles toward the hole. This is one of my favorite training aids as it’s small, easy to use, and provides instant feedback.
Optional: EyeLine Putting Plane Rail
Another great training aid that will help you not get too far inside on your back stork is: Putting Plane Rail. This training aid is set to 70°C to get your putter head moving.
You can use it indoors or on the greens, but you can also use it without a golf ball. To become more consistent with your putting strokes, you can make 50-100 strokes per days.
Click here to learn more about our top putting and full-swing training aids.
5. Check Your Green Reading
If you’re missing putts right, it could be your eyes letting you down. Even if you fix your setup and stroke, if you don’t read the greens correctly you won’t make a ton of putts.
Ask yourself these questions: “Am I missing all putts right? Or just putts that break from left to right?”
It’s common for right-handed golfers to not play enough break on right to left putts. Right-handed players prefer to putt right to left, so green reading could also be an issue. Also, you must have the right speed to make breakable putts.
Here are some rules I try and follow when playing left-to-right putts.
- I prefer to play uphill putts and take less break. I visualize the ball moving in the back of my cup with speed.
- Flat putts allow me to play enough break, but still want the putts to go in at a rapid pace. I picture the ball bouncing into the cups center.
- I play more break with downhill putts and try to get the putt out of my system. This helps you take advantage gravity. It also makes the cup larger. I try to picture the ball rolling over the cups front lip.
Visual imagery can help with your putting skills. Click here to learn more on green reading.
6. Head gets up too quickly
Another problem that plagues many golfers is their inability to keep their heads down. If you raise your head too fast in your putting stroke, it will cause you to miss a lot. This is why it’s so important to keep your head steady throughout the stroke.
Tiger Woods is a great example for proper head movement (or lack thereof), in the putting stroke. Watch Tiger putt and you will notice it’s all arms and shoulders, his head is still not matter the length of the putt.
Keep your head down until you see the ball rolling towards the hole.
A good thing to think about is “hear the putt in the hole” vs. “see the putt.” When you try to hear it, you program yourself to keep your head down longer which helps you make a complete putting stroke.
Deceleration is the last reason why so many people miss putts. If you decelerate, it’s easy to leave putts short and miss right or left as a result. Nerves can take over and this is more common in the last round.
Accelerating with any length putt is essential.
Greg Norman elaborated upon his Website saying, “A bold stroke is a confident stroke, one with built-in acceleration through impact, a stroke that works on any type of green surface, fast or slow, bent or Bermuda.”
Greg elaborated on this concept and said that it’s better to accelerate and miss putts long vs. missing them short.“Remember that if you hit the ball a bit too hard, you can watch the way it rolls as it passes the hole, getting an immediate read on the return putt, but if you leave it short, you have no such knowledge for the last meter of the putt.”
I couldn’t agree more! Putts that are too short have 0% chance to go in, while those with more speed have a better chance. Not to mention, you won’t have to guess as much with the break of the next putt on the way back.
Bonus: Improve Your Putting Pre-Shot Routine
As you can see, many problems occur on the greens if you dont have the right setup. You will have better chances of making putts if you dial in your pre-shot routine. This will ensure that your putter is in the right alignment and you dont let poor alignment ruin your stroke.
A good pre-shot routine will help build confidence for every putt. Repeating the same routine with every putt will help you automate your thinking process. This will help you to keep your nerves under control and allow you to focus on your routine.
FAQs about Missing Putts
Do you have any questions about putting to improve golf game? Continue reading to learn more about putting to improve your golf game.
How can I stop missing my putts?
First, you must diagnose your problem to make more putts. Are you missing putts consistently? Are you missing putts long or short? It is easier to fix any problem if you have a frequent miss.
But if you don’t have a consistent miss, I’d suggest revising the fundamentals of putting. This starts with your setup and stroke.
Why do I keep missing 3-foot putsts?
You must make 95% of your putts from 3 feet or more to play the best golf. If you’re missing these putts, it’s likely from one of the following reasons:
- DecelerationDespite the putt being short, you must hit it with authority. You also need to accelerate through impact. It’s common for players to take too big of a back stroke then try to fix the issue by decelerating. You should take a shorter backswing to accelerate through impact.
- Too much breakPlaying too much break can also lead to missed short putts. For putts inside three feet, you shouldn’t play outside the center of the cup very often. Tiger Woods is an excellent example of a player that hits short putts with authority in order to eliminate break.
- Too much head movement: If you’re missing short putts, it could be from too much head movement. Keep your head still throughout the stroke. You can practice hearing the ball in a hole by practicing on a practice putting green (or indoor putting mat). This will improve your ability to stay down for longer periods of time and make more putts.
You should also spend a lot of time on the practice course. If you keep the same path for short putts, the ball will drop more often in the hole.
Do I forward press when putting?
Forward pressing is a great trigger for your putting stroke. It’s used by a lot of professional golfers on the PGA Tour and countless amounts of golfers worldwide.
The only thing you need to remember is that more forward press isn’t necessarily a good thing. Too much forward pressing can reduce loft and cause the ball not to roll smoothly on the greens. You can keep your stroke tempo steady by pushing the handle forward.
Click here to find out more about forward presses in putting.
Do you putt with the hands or your shoulders?
Shoulders. Putter movement is best done with the big muscles, not your wrists or fingers.
Professionals and amateur golfers are skilled, while professionals use big muscles. Higher handicap golfers flip their hands/wrists.
Why do I miss my putts to left?
If you’re missing putts to the left, it’s typically the exact opposite reasons. These include:
- Try to aim left (open shoulders).
- You are too close to the ball.
- Pulling putts at an outside take-out.
- Your ball position is too far in front of your stance.
How can you consistently make 5-foot putts
Most of your putts should be made from five feet, but not 100%. Don’t get me wrong, I want you to make all these putts but it’s important to remember the statistics.
According to the PGA TourThe average distance of five feet from the ground was 81.47% in the 2022 season. That’s right, the best players in the world only make roughly 4 of 5 putts from five feet.
So if you miss an occasional five-foot putt, don’t beat yourself up, it happens to the best players in the world too. To increase your chances of hitting chip shots close, you can aim to hit them closer.
Which hand is dominant when putting?
It all depends on how you grip the putting ball. If you are a traditional putting gripper and a right-handed golfer, your dominant hand is your right. If you grip with your left hand, it is the dominant one.
Click here to find out more about putting grips.
Are you ready to get a fitter for your putter?
A putter fitting is a great way to find the right club for you. A proper fitting can help:
- Short putting can be improved
- Understanding the putter path
- Make sure your target line is correct
- Face balanced putter vs. toe hang putter
- Choose the right shaft style and hosel for you (some golfers prefer a long hosel, others prefer a center shafted putter).
They can help with putting instruction and provide obvious remedies.
Final Thoughts on Pushed Putts
These strategies should help you make more putts. The first step is to diagnose your stroke and analyze your misses.
Always check your setup position before making any major changes to your stroke, grip, or putter. It’s a great idea to record your stroke or have a friend record it during the round or the putting green. This will give you objective information on what’s happening in your stroke.
Use the seven strategies to improve your putts. Remember, putting is easier than the full-swing swing and is a great way of spending your practice time.
Want to learn more putting tips? You can find some of our most popular articles on putting below.
- How to Putt from the Fringe
- Navigate Fast Greens at the Golf Course