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  • Reading Putts

    Hello I am wondering about reaing greens and factors that play a key roll in putts moving certain ways. How do the pros seem to read greens with such ease, in which majority of their putts have a chance of going in? I have a good putting stroke and it has held up under pressure in tournaments so I feel like it is not the problem for me. I just don't read alot of putts correct. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!!!

  • #2
    Re: Reading Putts

    Imagine filling the cup with water. Imagine which way the water will flow when the cup gets full. Thats where the put breaks towards. Your task is to putt to the high side of where the putt breaks to because gravity will pull the ball back towards the hole.
    After doing this for a while you will know how to gauge whether you should aim one, two or more (imaginary) cups to the high side.
    Thats the simple method. The advanced method is to break the actual path into chunks. So if you have a long putt, break it into three and imagine the path your ball should go on the last chunk to achieve the point above

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    • #3
      Re: Reading Putts

      Such a nice idea.

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      • #4
        Re: Reading Putts

        Unfortunately, part of it is experience.

        Another part of it is grass - bermuda greens are really grainy, and can alter the "cup of water" theory as the grain will effect the ball.

        But I'd start with the cup of water theory first. Also, as you walk up to the green, take a look at the entire green - where's the high part? Any obvious humps? These will tell you a lot.

        My final advice is to trust your brain. Stand behind your ball so that you can see your ball and the hole. Take a 3 second read just staring blankly at the hole and your ball. Then step up and putt comfortably.

        Or you could just start putting while looking at the hole.

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        • #5
          Re: Reading Putts

          My 5 cents into this:

          1) imagine the whole path of the ball in your brain with the actual speed of the put, e.g. "see" the invisible ball rolling on the green, breaking sideways, crossing the heights and ending up into the cup

          2) do the same backwards in time: imagine piece by piece where the ball must be coming in order for it to end up into the cup, consider also the speed of the ball

          3) check in your mind the consistency of the path for each higher point (where the speed is slowest) and each side slide where the break is largest, remember the speed

          4) practise a lot on different greens and with different distances, that will teach your cerebellum how the ball behaves on different surfaces and with different speeds; I keep on repeating a put as long as it takes to get it into the cup: the cerebellum will remember the last successful put and learn

          5) trust your brain, the cerebellum is a miraculous device for all kinds of movements

          For me it is typically more difficult to estimate the speed. For a complex enough path the speed must be exactly correct. Lot of exercise helps even with speed.

          Lot of practise will also help to execute the put in exactly the way you imagined it. If you make a 1% mistake in the execution (speed or direction), your ball will end outside the cup on any longer distance put, whether direct or more complex.

          Putting is 40% of golf. How many of us can honestly say putting is 40% of their exercises?

          PS. My apologies for any bad English ...

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