If there’s one area of your game where making improvements can make a huge difference to your scores, it’s putting. And a good way to get better results from your putting is to improve your reading of the greens. So let’s take a look at some tips on how to read greens now…
How to read greens
The good news is that anyone can learn how to read greens like a pro. While it’s undoubtedly tricky, it just takes a little time and practice. After all, it’s definitely a science not an art – the ball simply obeys the laws of physics.
The first thing to work out is which way the putt will break. You should be able to work this out by looking at the slope of the green. Bear in mind that it’s really only the last third of the putt that’s important here. In particular, the ball will be travelling fast enough over the first third of the putt that the break here won’t matter.
So look at the final third of the putt from both sides of the hole and judge which way it slopes. Then you need to judge how fast the ball will be travelling at the point it reaches the final third of its journey and from this how much break to allow.
This is obviously harder than I’m making it sound (or we’d all hole most of our putts), but with practice and experience you’ll get better at it. Like anything else, the more you practice and the more work you put in, the better you’ll get at it.
The other thing to take into account is whether the putt is flat, uphill or downhill, or some combination of all three. This will obviously affect the pace at which you need to strike the ball.
So, to put it all together:
- Work out which way the putt will break during the final third by checking the slope of the green.
- Check whether the putt is level, uphill or downhill.
- This will let you work out how hard you need to strike the ball.
- Based on how fast the ball will be travelling work out the amount of break you need to allow.
Now you have everything you need to make the putt!