How Do You Read Putts Better?- It Starts At The Hole
How Do You Read Putts Better?
It Starts At The Hole
As a golfer, two important aspects of putting are accurately reading greens while maintaining an appropriate pace of play. These skills are particularly crucial for players who who don't want to be known as the "snail" of the group they play with but still want to improve their putting performance. In this blog, I will provide you with some valuable tips on how to read greens around the hole effectively while also ensuring that you keep up the pace of play.
When approaching the green, it is essential to start analysing the slopes from around the hole. Instead of waiting until you reach your ball, you can start your green reading process while walking in that direction. By doing so, you can observe and grasp the subtle nuances of the green that are more prominent in the last third of the putt, around the hole. Making a habit of doing this every time will transform your green reading and reduce the number of putts you have per round dramatically.
Let's say that my ball lies on the far side of the green, and as I approach the ball, I take the opportunity to assess the green from behind the hole. This is a wise decision because gravity and the contours of the last third of the putt are likely to have the greatest impact on the ball's path and where it ultimately finishes up. By paying close attention to these factors, I can make better predictions about how the putt will break and navigate the slopes effectively.
In this specific scenario, I notice that I have a challenging putt. I need to putt over a ridge and then allow the ball to come down towards the hole. This information is crucial to my decision-making process, as misjudging the intended path could result in an incorrect aim or misjudged pace. Hence, it is vital to take advantage of the view behind the hole.
After analysing the green from behind the hole, I determine that the putt will likely break from right to left as it slows down and comes to a stop. I also notice a slight variation in the break due to the ridge halfway along, which adds an additional layer of complexity to the putt. It turns it into what we call a "double breaker", which means the putt will curve both left and right in its journey. However, when I viewed the putt from behind the ball, it did not appear to have the same break as it did from behind the hole. If you have never done this before you will be amazed at how different things can look sometimes.
This discrepancy highlights the importance of reading greens from various viewpoints. Green reading is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and understanding the individual characteristics of each green is crucial. By reading the green from different angles, as demonstrated in the video, I gain a more accurate image of how the ball might behave, enabling me to make a far more educated guess in terms of picking my aim point and the size of swing needed to get the distance right.
To further emphasize the significance of this green reading technique, let's consider the potential consequences of not adopting this approach. Had I solely relied on the view from behind the ball, I would have misjudged the break and potentially aimed my putt further left than required. As a result, I may have hit the ball too far to the left, missing the mark entirely. Three putts here we come. Doh🤦♂️
Now I know what you are thinking, "that's going to make me one of those slow golfers we all hate playing with Paul''. I get that, it may appear like that but you can do this fast and it will result in less putts which is always faster. I am a professional golfer who does this because it works but I am not a slow golfer. I am keeping up with anyone while doing this.
So how do you do it Paul?
While green reading from different angles, I ensure that I do not disrupt the flow by swinging around behind the hole on my way to my ball or while others are playing. By doing so, I minimize any unnecessary delays and keep the game moving smoothly for everyone involved.
Developing the skill of reading greens effectively while also maintaining a steady pace of play requires practice and consistent application. Incorporating these techniques into your golf game will lead to improved decision-making on the green and have you playing faster than your playing partners can finish their drinks. Haha!
In conclusion, understanding the intricacies of green reading and being mindful of maintaining an appropriate pace of play are valuable skills if you want to take your game to the next level. By adopting the approach showcased in the video, reading greens from behind the hole becomes a crucial part of reducing three putts and holing more short putts.
Remember to analyse the contours, slopes, and potential break of the green from different viewpoints to give yourself the best chance of success. At the same time, always prioritise keeping up a fast pace of play and be considerate of other players' time on the course. Implementing these practices will have you putting like a tour pro in no time! (well maybe not that good yet but you won't suck as much so that will be good 🤪🤣)
**If you found this guide helpful, I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Please consider leaving a comment below to share your thoughts and suggestions. Your input is valuable and helps me create more content to support your golfing journey.