You are being both careful and sensible if you take time to line up your putts from both sides of the hole. Hidden breaks can often be seen by looking from the hole back toward the ball. But every now and then what you see is more confusing than enlightening. A putt will appear to break from left to right when viewed from behind the hole and from right to left when looked at from the other direction. Which angle of vision should you trust? Here is the answer: assume the putt will break in the direction that the general terrain in the area slopes. I won my first National Amateur Championship at Broadmoor, a course that is built right up against the Colorado Rockies. We all quickly learned there that the greens on the mountain side of the course invariably sloped away from the mountains, even when they appeared to slope into them. The steep terrain caused an optical illusion. What looked like an uphill putt would actually turn out to be downhill, much to the dismay of the player who hit it. To a lesser extent, this is true of all hilly or rolling courses. So—check the slope of the land around the green. If it falls off from left to right, for instance, then it is quite possible that what looks like a level putt will actually break a little from left to right. When you know your eyes are deceiving you because a putt appears to break two different ways, look beyond the green and see how the land lies.