How to read putting greens fast
Your ability to know how to read putting greens can either make or break your golf game. The green is the last part of a hole and can help you stay under par if successful. Golfers should learn how to successfully examine the putting green by understanding the terrain and its surroundings. Your most valuable tool for reading the green is your eyesight.
To see the most detail, golfers should use a quality pair of sunglasses. They'll improve your ability to read the putting green by providing maximum clarity and reducing glare off the grass.
While the putting green may seem like a simple piece of grass, there are a lot of complexities golfers need to look out for.
Here are a few simple tips to reading the green and making every putt successful.
While not every tip will be used for every putting green you encounter, having these tips in your rolodex of golfing knowledge will help you identify which tips are appropriate for the specific green you are on.
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Pay attention to the surrounding terrain
One of the biggest mistakes a golfer can make is assume that the putting green is flat. In reality, the green is often sloped and appears flat due to position of the golfer. Before you even approach the green, you should examine the surrounding terrain. In most cases, the green follows the slope of the fairway.
By examining the curves and lines of the terrain, you can better plan for your putting before you even reach the green.
Examine the high and low points
By crouching down behind the ball, you'll be able to better examine the curves of the green. By staying in line with the ball and the hole, you can see how the slopes will affect your putt. You should look for the highest and lowest point of the putting green to read its slope.
From there, you can determine how steep or shallow a slope is and make decisions on your putting method accordingly.
Use your feet
In addition to using your eyes to see the slope, you can use your feet to physically feel the slope. By simple walking around the putting green, you can determine the manner in which it dips and rises.
You can even walk alongside the line between your ball and the hole to feel the differences in elevation your ball will experience during the putt.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW WHERE FORMER US OPEN CHAMPION JUSTIN ROSE SHARE HIS SECRETS TO READING GREENS:
Look at the putt from the side
To get even more information about the putting green, you can examine the line of your put from the side. You should go to the centre of your putting line between the ball and hole and stand back a few metres.
By squatting low, you'll be able to get a better representation of the slope of the green and determine if the terrain slopes up, down, dips, rises, or stays consistently flat.
Examine the grass
This method of reading the green, while overlooked, is actually very important and useful in making a successful putt. You should examine the condition of the grass and the way that it grows. Depending on the climate you are golfing in, the grass may grow towards water or the direction in which the sun sets. Ultimately, the direction in which the grass grows can affect how the ball rolls on the green.
If the putting line goes in the same direction as the grass grows, the ball will move faster.
Alternatively, a ball rolling against the direction of the grass will move slower.
To determine which direction the grass is growing, you can examine the grass itself or take a look at the hole.
Usually, the direction in which the grass grows has a ragged edge on the hole.
Therefore, the grass grows towards the opposite side of the ragged side of the hole.
Look at the grass colour
To determine the growth pattern of the grass by just looking at it, you should pay attention to its colour based on your position and the putting line. If the grass appears to be shiny, you will be putting with the grain. This means that you are putting in the same direction in which the grass grows.
If the grass appears to be darker, you are putting against the grain.
With putting, the direction of the grass will have a huge effect on the speed in which your ball rolls with the slope, so you should adjust the power of your putt accordingly.
Examine how other players putt on the green
One of the easiest ways to know how to reading putting greens is watching other players.
You can gather a lot of information by simply watching how the slopes affect their putting.
Even if they are not on the same putting line as you, their putting attempts will give you a better idea of how to approach your own putts.
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