The Goal

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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Purposely trying to miss every putt on the high side of the hole is one of the more valuable experiments you could do on the golf course with speed. When I say high side, if a putt is breaking left to right, you should be trying to lip the ball out on the left edge of the hole, a perfect putt in terms of this experiment. A couple things are going to happen.

Aim – You’ll be surprised how much more right or left you have to aim to get the ball into the top side of the hole. One of the feels I use inside of ten feet is to purposely set myself far enough left or right where I know if I hit the putt where I’m aiming, there’s no way it will break enough to get down to the top edge. I feel like most golfers will intuitively get to the point where they know they’re aimed too high, I’d say that feel or position is almost perfect aim.

Speed – When your aim pushes this far above a breaking putt, no matter the direction of the curve, speed becomes much better because we all know if we hit this just a touch too hard, it won’t break down to the top edge. Most of the golfers I see play less break than they should, and because of too little break have to hit putts hard to hold the line they’ve chosen. More speed always equals smaller hole, less speed always equals bigger hole. If the ball is on its last quarter turn and catches an edge, it will almost always fall in. A putt with more speed needs to find more of the hole to fall in, this is physics and gravity.

Score – When your aim gets better, your speed also gets better, and when those two pieces are in a good spot, putts start to fall. I’m not sure when the putts will start to fall, I just know they will. With better aim and speed, you’ll also three putt less. I know this experiment seems a bit counter intuitive, purposely trying to miss putts as close to the top edge of the hole as you can. One of the things that surprised me about this experiment was how much more freedom I felt over a putt, purposely trying to miss with great speed. I had zero expectation, allowing my mind to explore a different way to think about hitting putts.  

Good Luck!   

Rob Rashell is now the Director of  Instruction at TPC Scottsdale. You can reach him at