How to tackle short breaking putts with the 'Five Tee Routine'

Challenge yourself in practice by sticking numbers around the cup. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 1 Aug 2017
How to tackle short breaking putts with the 'Five Tee Routine'


The short breaking putt is a toughie, especially when nerves are jangling over that birdie or par saver!

Do you trickle it down there on the right edge and hope it takes the break and falls in, or do you just take dead aim at the back of the hole and pray you're not using a sand wedge for your next shot. 

When faced with a devilish short breaking putt on the practice putting green, London Putting Academy head pro Matthew Johns recommends you challenge yourself with the 'Five Tee Routine'.

Warning: it's best advised not to press the tees too hard into the turf, as to annoy those greenkeepers

How to tackle short breaking putts with the 'Five Tee Routine'


Divide the hole into five sections with #1 on the left lip, #3 in the middle and #5 on the right lip. Sections #2 and #4 sit left-centre and right-centre respectively.

Once you have decided which section is best to start the putt on, we want you to focus solely on that tee peg. 

Many amateurs make the mistake of over reading a short breaking putt but if you strike the ball correctly then the minimal borrow is almost cancelled out.

Whatever your strategy on the short breaking putt, the key is to pick your target point and just take a nice smooth, confident putt.


To help control your starting line, which is largely controlled by your putter face alignment at impact, position the five tees at the back of the hole on a straight putt between six and ten feet.

As the putt is straight, you will be able to hole the putt at all five points so challenge yourself to see how successful you can be.

This works well as a game when played with a friend by choosing each others ‘holing point’ and seeing who can hole the most putts in a row towards the correct tee.