How to Read A Golf Green

There are many times throughout your round where you will face a long putt from 30 feet or more.  Your goal is to hole the ball in two putts or less every time.  If you routinely make three putts or more there is a significant amount of room for improvement.  Determining where to putt the ball can be extremely confusing.  This article is designed to improve your ability to read undulations on the green.

Reading the green can be very tricky. It would be ideal if every putt is straight.  However, this is not the case. Golfers must play and practice to improve at reading the slope of the green.  The contour of the green will determine how the ball will break.  The more severe the contour, the more a putt will move to the right or left.  Visualize how the putt will break before you set up for the putt.  The ball will always break from the high side to the low side.  Consequently, the direction you set up on the green will not always be directly at the hole.

The speed of the putting green along with the contour will determine how much a putt will break.  If the green speed is slower, the putt will break less.  Greens that putt at a faster pace will break more.  The pace you stroke a putt will vary.  Obviously, you must hit an uphill putt harder than a downhill putt.  Therefore, you must hit a downhill putt softer than an uphill putt.

Examine how the green breaks around the hole.  Reading the green is one of the most difficult aspects of putting.  When you lag a putt to the hole, plan to leave yourself with an easy flat or uphill putt instead of a difficult breaking putt.  The longer putts can potentially have a subtle or severe break.  The harder you hit a putt the less it will break.  Therefore, the break in the beginning of a longer putt can sometimes be ignored.  Pay close attention to the break the final ten feet of the putt.  As the ball slows down it will break more around the hole.  When putting on a green with tiers, make sure to concentrate on the speed at the top or bottom of the tier as the ball continues to roll toward the hole.  Use some of these techniques and you will improve your putting from long range and decrease the three putts in your round.

Matt Keller, PGA


FEATURED AUTHOR: Matt Keller is a PGA Golf Professional with over 15 years of experience. Throughout his career he has worked at courses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and Delaware. Matt has conducted thousands of golf lessons to players of all ages and ability levels. Currently, he is a PGA Professional at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club located near Bethany Beach, DE

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