There are many things that can affect the outcome of a game of golf, but many golfers will tell you that putting is the crucial part of any game and really separates the “men from the boys” or the “ladies from the girls”.
Your ability to sink a putt depends very much on your ability to read the green, and this in turn is a mix of physics and artistry that can only be achieved with study, practice, time and experience, but here are one few tips to get you going.
The first thing to realize is that if you stand on the edge and look out 10 or 15 feet to the hole, you won’t be able to read the green. The higher you are and the further away you are, the less you see, so you have to get close to the surface of the green, and that means crouching, or even better, getting on your knees.
From your low vantage point, look closely at the area between your ball and the bowl and try to place a club along the line to the bowl and look closely along that line.
Look for hills or valleys and signs of turns left or right. Try to estimate how much slope (downhill or uphill) there is between your ball and the cup. Also get a feel for whether the grass is wet or not and if so how wet it is. Even the smallest amount of moisture can shorten the distance the ball travels compared to a dry surface.
Equally important is the mowing height and whether the green has been cut twice or not. Double cut simply means that the green has been cut first in one direction and then again at right angles to the first cut. Double cutting can change the distance traveled by the bullet by several inches from a single cut. Similarly, cutting height is important, and reducing mowing height by even one sixteenth of an inch can increase ball roll.
More difficult to judge is whether or not the green has been rolled, which has the effect of compacting the ground, increasing soil hardness and in turn affecting the ball’s roll.
Once you’ve evaluated all of these factors, you need to decide which direction to hit the ball and with what power to make the putt, and at this point there’s only one way to find out – practice and learn.
Take the time to practice on both the practice greens and the course greens when you are not actively playing, and don’t forget to learn from the experiences of others. Watch your partner putt and do your best to analyze why his putt went down or not.
Of course, it’s not always easy to practice while playing without stopping others, but most places have slow days or slow times of the day and you should try to take advantage of these to get as much practice as possible.
Reading the green is not an easy skill and will take some time, but once you’ve recorded it, you can easily reduce your score by several shots.
Thanks to Donald Saunders | #Golf #Learning #Read #Green