As our active membership has been growing, I have been getting quite a few questions about some of the things that actually happen while playing a round. How to read the greens is a common question. So below, you will find my take on "Reading the Greens".
It is rare to come across a completely flat green. Greens will nearly always slope because it is necessary for water to drain off them. Allowing rain or water to roll off is necessary, but it also causes balls to curve off line when you are putting. Uphill and downhill putts are a result of sloping turf. But side to side sloping means the ball wants to move sideways on its way to the hole. Your ability to read the “break” or slope is a key to how well you putt. It is obvious that a sharper slope causes more break than a smaller one.
Do the following to read the Green:
- As you walk towards the green, pay attention to the overall slope of the land and any features such as hills, bodies of water, and valleys. These are items that will come into play as you plan your next shot. When you reach the ball, make a quick decision of what you think the ball will do.
- Now take a little time (a few seconds) checking from the ball to the hole, and maybe from the hole to the ball. This is how you will finalize the quick decision you made earlier. This can be done while other players are setting up for their shots and it allows you to be ready when your shot comes up.
- After deciding how a putt will break make a guess about how much you think it is going to break. Will it make a right to left move? How many inches do you think it will move?
Dealing with the sloping as you are putting will take time and practice. You will learn how to do this effectively as you play. As in all other situations in life, experience is the best teacher.
If you would like to learn more about playing golf, consider attending the next 3-Day Golf Intensive.
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