Missing putts right or left consistently is one of the most frustrating things that can happen in this game. 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).
Keep reading to learn some of the common mistakes that lead to missing putts right of the hole and how to fix them.
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. Needless to say, if your putter is icy cold, it can make for a long day on the golf course.
The faster you can improve your putting, the better scores you can shoot quickly.
The good news is that diagnosing your putting performance is 10X easier than your full swing. Trying to assess and then fix your swing can take weeks or sometimes months to fix. But with putting, you can diagnose and update your stroke with a few short sessions.
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 changing your stroke or making any drastic changes to your equipment, check alignment first. If you’re missing putts to the right it could be from simply aiming further right than you think.
Alignment, in both putting and the swing, is one of the biggest issues for so many golfers. 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.
Start by having 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. Try to find a straight putt for this video so you can objectively look at the roll of the putt and not worry about the break.
When assessing your video, check your feet and shoulder alignment. Both should be aimed directly at the middle of the hole if it’s a straight putt. If your feet are right, your shoulders might open too.
If your aim is good, keep reading to fix the issue causing you to miss putts on the right.
2. Ball Position
Before changing your stroke, keep evaluating your setup position. The second reason you might miss putts to the right is ball position when putting.
Have a friend record your stroke from a face-on angle or set up a tripod (or lean your phone against something) to record your putting stroke.
If the ball gets too far back in your stance, it’s easy to miss putts right. Ideally, you want the ball in the front-center of your stance.
This helps you bottom out at the right spot and hits the putt on the center of the face. But you can experiment on the putting green with different ball positions to see how it impacts the roll. Some players might benefit from more up or back toward the middle based on putter loft, length, and forward press.
3. Ball Off Toe
Another aspect of your setup to evaluate is where the ball is aimed at the putter face. If the ball is missing right it could be from being hit off the toe of the club.
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.
Luckily, almost every new putter has easy to use alignment aids built into the top of the putter head. This should make it easier to set up a square to your intended target. 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. Make sure to check out some of our favorites putters below:
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. If you stand too far away, it could lead to setting up with the ball aimed off the toe as well.
As Golf Digest said, “If you stand too close to the ball, you’ll make an out-to-in stroke. Too far away, and the stroke path will be 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.”
To feel a more inside backstroke, a putting mirror with built-in putter track can help too.
4. Pushed Putts
The fourth reason you might be missing putts right is from an improper stroke. If you consistently miss right, you’re pushing putts, likely from an incorrect move on your backstroke.
If you take the putter head too far back on an inside path, it makes it easy to push putts right.
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). While the natural path of the putter should be slightly inside, too much can make it impossible to square the face at impact.
To fix this issue, use one of our favorite training aids – the Putting Tutor by Dave Pelz. This training aid is helpful because it gives you instant feedback on your start line.
The board has spots for two marbles on both sides in which you 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 cause you to miss putts right consistently.
Keep working with this device until you can consistently roll the ball through 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 to help you not take the putter too far inside on the back stork is the Putting Plane Rail. This training aid is set at 70-degrees to get the putter head moving perfectly.
While you can use it on an indoor putting green or on the golf course, you can use it without a ball too. Make 50-100 strokes per day to groove a more consistent putting stroke and you will become automatic on the greens.
Go here to read much more about our favorite 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, “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. Most right-handed players prefer right to left putts so green reading could be the issue too. Plus, you need the right speed to make breaking putts.
Here are a few rules I try to follow with left to right putts.
- With uphill putts, I play less break and make sure I get the ball to the hole. I picture the ball going in the back of the cup with speed.
- With flat putts, I play enough break but still want the putt to go in with speed. I imagine the ball pouring into the center of the cup.
- With downhill putts, I play more break and try to die the putt which helps you take advantage of gravity. It also makes the cup bigger too. I try to imagine the ball rolling just over the front lip of the cup.
Adding some visual imagery in your putting routine can help you start making more putts and see the line better. Click here to learn more about green reading.
6. Head Comes Up Too Quickly
Another issue that plagues so many golfers is not keeping their head down enough. If your head comes up too quickly in your putting stroke, you will miss a lot of putts right. This is why it’s so important to keep your head steady throughout the stroke.
Tiger Woods is a great example of 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 the ball is rolling toward 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.
The final reason that a lot of people miss putts to the right is from deceleration. If you decelerate, it’s easy to leave putts short and miss right or left as a result. This tends to happen late in the round as nerves can get the best of you.
It is crucial to accelerate with any length of putt.
Greg Norman elaborated on 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 left short have 0% chance of going in, while putts with more speed at least have a chance of going in. 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 tell, a lot of problems occur on the greens from a less than perfect setup position. To give yourself better chances of making more putts, dial in your pre-shot routine to set up properly. This will ensure you set up the putter face to your intended line and not let bad alignment ruin your stroke.
Plus, a good pre-shot routine will build confidence over every putt. By going through the same motions over and over again with every putt, you will automate your thought process. This should help keep your nerves minimized and focus on your routine instead.
FAQs About Missing Putts
Do you have more questions about putting to improve your golf game? If so, keep reading to learn more now and start saving shots on the greens.
How do I stop missing putts?
The key to making more putts is first diagnosing your issues. Are you missing putts right or left? Long or short? If you have a common miss, it makes it much easier to fix any issue and get your confidence back on the greens.
But if you don’t have a consistent miss, I’d suggest revising the fundamentals of putting. This starts with your setup position and stroke.
Why do I keep missing 3-foot putts?
To play your best golf you need to make 95% of putts from three feet (or more). If you’re missing these putts, it’s likely from one of the following reasons:
- Deceleration: Even though the putt is short, you need to hit it with authority and accelerate through impact. It’s common for players to take too big of a back stroke then try to fix the issue by decelerating. Instead, take a smaller backswing to ensure you accelerate through impact.
- Reading too much break: Another reason you might miss short putts is playing too much break. For putts inside three feet, you shouldn’t play outside the center of the cup very often. Tiger Woods is a good example of a player who hits short putts with authority to eliminate break.
- Too much head movement: If you’re missing short putts, it could be from too much head movement. Remember, the head needs to stay steady throughout the stroke. On the practice putting green (or with an indoor putting mat at home), practice hearing the ball in the hole. This will reinforce your head to stay down longer and make more putts.
Plus, plenty of time on the practice green. Keep the same path on short putts and the golf ball will drop in the hole more often!
Should I forward press when putting?
A forward press is a great trigger to start 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 press removes loft and can get the ball skipping instead of rolling smoothly on the greens. But a little press of the handle forward is a great way to maintain proper tempo in your stroke.
Do you putt with your hands or shoulders?
Shoulders. The big muscles need to move the putter, not your wrists or hands.
Skilled amateur golfers and professionals use the big muscles while higher handicap golfers flip their hands/wrists.
Why am I missing my putts to the left?
If you’re missing putts to the left, it’s typically the exact opposite reasons. Some of them include:
- Aiming left (open shoulders).
- Standing too close to the golf ball.
- Pulling putts from an outside takeaway.
- Ball position too far in the front of your stance.
How do you consistently make 5-foot putts?
You should make most of your putts 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 Tour, in the 2022 season the average from five feet was 81.47%. 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. Just try to hit your chip shots closer so you have better odds of making short putts.
What hand is dominant in putting?
It depends on your putting grip style. If you have a traditional putting grip and are a right-handed golfer your right hand is the dominant one. But if you use a cross-handed grip, your left hand is the dominant one.
Shold I get a putter fitting?
A putter fitting can help you find the right golf club for the greens. A proper fitting can help with:
- Improve short putting
- Understand putter path
- Ensure your target line is correct
- Face balanced putter vs. toe hang putter
- Find the right shaft style and hosel (some golfer like a center shafted putter others like long hosels, etc.)
They can provide some obvious cures and also acts like a putting instructor too.
Final Thoughts on Pushed Putts
Hopefully these strategies will help you start making more putts. Remember, the first step is diagnosing your stroke and analyzing your misses.
Before making any drastic changes to your grip, putter, or stroke, always check your setup position. 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.
Then, use the seven strategies above to start hitting better putts. Just remember, putting is easier to fix than the full swing and one of the best ways to spend your practice time.
Want more putting tips to save shots? Check out some of our most popular putting articles below: