Tips for Reading Greens

GB72

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There has been a fair amount of talk recently about putters but I wondered whether anyone has any tips for reading greens. I am pretty good with judging the distance of a putt and my real problem lies in reading the breaks on the green. In the worst cases I actually seem to see the break going in the opposite direction to the way in which the ball actually travels.

Has anyone got any decent techniques to help in reading greens?
 

HTL

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I am still learning how to read greens! Still a mystery for me really. I picture a line that I need the ball to follow and go for it.

Have been rolling loads of ball by hand around our putting green to learn how the ball reacts to certain breaks etc, slowly I am getting better.
 

jeffc

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haven't seen many people doing it but holding your putter up like a plumb bob used to be a common way to see which way the break will go, i.e. it takes out the optical delusion you sometimes get
 

USER1999

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Please don't phaff about plumb bobbing. Most people don't know how to do it, it relies on having a putter you can dangle absolutely vertical, and makes you look like a pratt.

Reading greens just comes with time and experience. There is no short cut except repetitive practice on a sloping green.

Why do you think the old codgers at your club putt so well. 60 years experience is the answer. There is no quick fix.
 

Troy

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It just comes down to practice, I think.

If there's any significant break, it'll be pretty obvious. If there's not, just aim at the hole! Especially if it's quite a short putt, inside 10 feet, say.
 

forefortheday

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I think most people over read greens and tend to think there is more break than there actually is.

Now some on here may play courses with fast running, multi tiered greens but I tend to play muni's and decent pay and play courses round the North West which tend to have fairly simple greens.

My attitude is simple, look at the slope is it going left or right? then hit it on the line you think is corect.

If I'm above the hole which a tricky downhiller I just try to imagine how the ball runs to the hole then putt to the picture.
 

viscount17

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favourite (not!) is trying the downhill, across the slope - comes off about 1 in 20 - actually it's a great feeling when it comes off.
you know you have to push the ball across the slope then let the gradient carry the ball down to the hole but how hard/far do you push? probably a good foot further than you think!
 

Herbie

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Try not to try so hard to putt. Until you get the key that opens the door of green reading you may as well pick the first line you feel is right from the very first look as you walk to your ball on the green. If then you are not sure just hit it straight and get pace right.
 

Imurg

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Sometimes I can look at a putt from all sides and not see the line, then other times I can walk up to the ball, have a quick look and in it goes.

Lets face it, the pros often mess it up and they do it for a living. I don't think you ever really master reading greens.
 

Atticus_Finch

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Just like most amateurs usually under club and come up short with their irons, most amateurs almost always miss the putt on the low side when there's a big borrow on a putt. I hate missing on the low side. I know it might not make much sense, but if I'm going to miss a putt, I prefer to miss it on the high side as I feel I gave it more of a chance.
Putting is like any part of the game in that it takes practise to get better at it. No quick fix.
 

Ken_A

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My putting improved a LOT when I got a lesson, I was told to think of spraying a hose on the green. If you can 'spray the line' then you will see the breaks etc.
Now my putting is lots better.
 

Herbie

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Just like most amateurs usually under club and come up short with their irons, most amateurs almost always miss the putt on the low side when there's a big borrow on a putt. I hate missing on the low side. I know it might not make much sense, but if I'm going to miss a putt, I prefer to miss it on the high side as I feel I gave it more of a chance.
Putting is like any part of the game in that it takes practise to get better at it. No quick fix.

Im trying to understand the logic of a preferred MISS.lol.
To me a miss is a miss,high or low, long or short, matters not to me, all that really matters is how close I am after the first putt that misses. if you can consistantly putt with no more than 2 putts you have little worry about your putting at all and so shouldnt fill your mind with unnecessary preferences as those preferences can become a physical reality.
 

USER1999

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It kind of makes sense, a bit like it is better to go past the hole than be short. Obviously best to hole it, but not getting up to the hole doesn't give it a chance.
 

shanker

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There has been a fair amount of talk recently about putters but I wondered whether anyone has any tips for reading greens. I am pretty good with judging the distance of a putt and my real problem lies in reading the breaks on the green. In the worst cases I actually seem to see the break going in the opposite direction to the way in which the ball actually travels.

Has anyone got any decent techniques to help in reading greens?
One of the teaching pros here says you must look at the last yard or two. This is when the ball is slowing down and will be most affected by the borrow. Don't worry too much about the first fifteen feet of a thirty footer.
 

John_Findlay

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My putting improved when I had a lesson. My pro told me to stop f******g thinking about it so much. Just putt like you did when you were young. Try to get it in the hole.

Doh. Great lesson but felt a bit aggrieved that he charged me. Worked though.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I think JF has hit it on the head. As a junior it wasn't about technique or worrying about the one coming back it was all about holing that first putt. Lack of fear, call it the misguided naivety of youth, meant that in most cases the ball was certainly up to and running at the hole.

However as youth gives way to experience and the pressures of trying to defend/lower handicaps and the bid for glory in medals, there seems to be a slow fear that develops imperceptibly that suddenly fills your brain with thoughts of putting technique and a fear of leaving it 3 foot short/past and then dealing with the one coming back.

If we can all recapture the easy, almost devil may care, putting of when we were young or beginners and knew no different I'm sure each and everyone would putt better irrespecitve of mechanics
 

RGuk

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I putted much better at my previous two clubs where there were some slopes to read. Trouble with my new club is all the greens look flat, although they aren't.
I've even started marking the borrow on the strokesaver planner. In a solo practice, I'll hit a ball from right on the front, in the middle straight at the flag and seeing where it ends up...seem to help me.
 
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