Reading Golf Greens

How to Read Putting Greens

This 2-part ‘reading golf greens’ lesson will improve your ability to gauge the break and line of your putts.

It’s worth remembering that although reading greens is an important part of good putting, distance control is more important…

A well-paced putt that is roughly on line will never be more than a few feet away. A putt that’s bang online but poor for pace usually ends up as a 3-putt.

With that said, ideally we want the best of both worlds – great pace and a great line. See the video below for part 1 of Reading Golf Greens:

Reading Greens – Video Summary

  • Start assessing a green from a distance as you walk up to it from your approach shot. Get a feel for the general lie of the land – notice where the major slopes are, if there are any ponds or drainage run off areas etc.

  • Reading Putting Greens - Stand low to the ground to note the breaks in the greenGetting down low to the ground, behind the golf ball will give you a better perspective to judge the severity and number of breaks facing your putt.

  • Try to walk the length of your putt and take a look from behind the hole. Viewing the putt from various angles will give you a much more accurate impression of what’s going to happen.

  • Reading Putting Greens - Putts will break more in the second half where the ball speed is slowerPay particular attention to the second half of the putt. Any slopes or break here will have a much greater influence on the ball because it will have slowed down considerably.

  • Reading Putting Greens - Make sure to putt high up the break enoughMost handicap golfers under-read big breaking putts by about half. In other words, they’ll only hit the ball half as high up the slope as they need to. So, when lining up your putt, pick a target that you believe is at the top of the slope or break and focus on hitting your putt to that target.

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