The Magic Lane



The Magic lane is defined as the area or lane, in which all single breaking putts must be putted in to go in the hole. 

There is more than one line when attempting any single breaking putt.

The secret is to match your speed with your chosen line

The width of the Magic lane on all single breaking putts is always wider than the width of the hole. There are some fairly direct low lines for the firmest of putts that can go into the hole. There are also more arcing higher lines for the slowest of makeable putts

The width of the Magic lane is directly affected by the steepness of the slope and the speed and quality of the greens


The highest line of the Magic lane is represented by the dotted white line. This is the slowest line that your ball can creep into the back door of the cup.   

The low line within the Magic lane is represented by the double yellow lines.

All putts that cross the low line [double yellow] of the Magic lane will miss on the low side of the hole. Once the ball crosses the double yellow lines, each and every turn of the ball will move it further from the hole. 

You shouldn’t cross the double yellow lines when driving your car or when putting your golf ball. Putts that cross the double yellow low line early are one of the leading causes of 3 putt greens.

Most golfers under-read the break on their breaking putts. If you are consistently missing on the low side, consider playing more break until approximately half of your misses are above the hole.



Missing the Magic Lane

When you start the ball outside of the Magic lane, you will miss the putt. When putts are missed to the high side of the Magic lane, the effects of gravity help the ball work its way back toward the hole. This is commonly referred to as missing it on the pro side. Gravity can be your friend on your high side misses.

Gravity is not your friend on the amateur or low side misses.

When in doubt, play more break, especially on championship greens.


Speed Determines Lane Choice

The Magic Lane is composed of 3 smaller lanes.

The low lane is called the fast lane.

The fast lane is primarily used by aggressive players who tend to take out the break by putting their ball firmly. 

The high lane is called the slow lane  This higher lane is for players who adhere to the "Die it in the hole" method of putting.

The slow lane should be favored on fast downhill putts.

The center lane is called the “Pure Roll” lane.

 The primary goal is to visualize the entire Magic lane. Then aim your putts into the pure roll lane. Starting your putts in the center pure roll lane gives you the greatest margin for error. Slight pushes can die in the top side of the hole and some of the firmer pulled putts can still hold their line and catch the hole.



I recommend the lower, faster, and more aggressive lines when putting uphill.

For downhill putts favor the slower, softer, higher lines within the slow lane.


Focus less on the line and more on the speed of the putt  

One of the key benefits of discovering the magic lane is learning to focus less on the line and more on the speed of the putt.  While the line is extremely important on short putts, distance control becomes much more important as the putts increase in length.

Once you learn that there are numerous different lines to make putts within every Magic lane, it frees the artistic side of the brain to focus more on touch and feel.

Practice visualizing the ball rolling into the hole with the perfect speed. Once you square up the putter to your chosen line within the Magic lane, you are done with the alignment process.

Now it is time to relax and roll your ball the proper distance.  



Switch Putting and The Magic Lane

Wider Magic Lane = greater margin for error


The Magic lane is wider when you putt from the low side of the ball and inside the arc of the putt.

The Magic lane for the hook putt is quite a bit wider than the Magic lane for the slice putt. We had a very enlightening session and test with PGA Tour pro-Roger Maltbie.  Putting right-handed from 12 ft. on a left to right putt, his Magic lane right-handed was 7” wide at its apex. 

When Roger switched from standing above the ball right-handed to standing on the low side of the ball left-handed, Roger made more putts from both above and below his 7" right-handed lane. 

His Magic lane left-handed for the exact same putt was 4” wider, for a grand total width of 11” wide.  It was 2” wider on the high side and 2” wider on the low side.

This wider lane affords the player a greater margin for error when standing on the low side of the ball and inside the arc of the putt. This is also the reason most right-handers prefer the right to left hook putt



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