How to read putting greens?
So you got to the green in hopefully a few strokes. Now what? It''s time to read the green.
What does reading a putter green really mean. In a basic sense it is how an individual golfer determines the slope of the green and what effect it will have on the golf ball as it travels toward the target (the hole). This is also called the break of the putt. Determining the speed of the putting surface is crucial to determining which path our golf ball should take. The last factor is grain, which is the direction the grass is growing.
First - Reading the green starts before you get to the green. You should start reading the green as your approach it. This basic read will give you a general concept of slope and overall break on long putts.
Second - I call this the "standard read." Stand 2-4 feet behind the golf ball. Crouch down and look toward the hole. Analyze the slope and surface conditions between you and your target. A difficult but essential part of reading the green is visualizing. Having the ability to visualize the putt is key to making more putts. This comes with practice.
Third - Not essential, but many professionals will reverse this angle and look back at the golf ball from the opposite side. This should confirm what you saw from your first read of the green.
Last - Taking grain into the picture. If the grain runs across the line of your putt, termed a cross-grain putt, the ball may drift toward the down-grain side as it slows down. Likewise if the grain side is at you, the putt will be slow. Whereas if the grain side is toward the hole, the putt will be fast.
Reading greens is a skill and it the only way to get better is to play more golf. So get out there play and start visualizing making more putts now!
I hope this guide on "how to read putting greens" helps you play better!
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