No matter how well you perfect your play up until reaching the green, your putting will ultimately determine your final score. You could reach every green in or under regulation, only to end up three putting on most of them, which is very frustrating.
There are different elements, which must come together to make a successful putt. Sure, if you land the ball within a couple of feet of the hole, you are probably going to make the putt without any problem. However, often you will be on the green but left with a tricky putt from further away.
If you have a flat run to the hole, great but if you don’t, you will need to read the green to make a successful putt. As you know, reading greens, especially those with subtle slopes, can be very tricky. Today, we have a short guide which will help you read greens and make successful putts.
Many golfers become obsessed with the line of their putt and in doing so, miss seeing a slope on the green. This results in a disappointing putt and only after making the putt, do you realise the slope was there.
To avoid this, start thinking about your putt as you approach the green. Look at the green as a whole, before you get closer to it and pick out the high points and slopes running from them. This will give you a better understanding of the putt when you address the ball.
Subtle slopes can be very difficult to spot. To help find them, look at where the other balls are on the green. What height are they in relation to the hole and to your own ball? Also, place the flag stick down on the opposite side of the hole to where your ball is sitting and see if it is higher, lower, or sloping. Use the items you have at your disposal, to find hidden slopes.
In addition, you can imagine what it would be like if water was flowing on the green. If you tipped a bucket of water on the green, between your ball and the hole, picture where the water would flow. This will give you a good idea of any slopes which may have an impact on the line and pace of your putt.
Also, look for any signs of drainage around the green. The greenkeeper needs to keep the green in top condition and this requires water drainage. By spotting this, you may get an idea of how water is moving off the green and the slope it is running down.
Check the grain of the grass on the green. Generally, if the grass is lighter, you will be putting in the same direction as the grass is growing, which will make the putt a little faster. If your route to the hole is darker, the grass is growing towards you and this will make the putt a little slower.
Finally, always watch what happens to your playing partners’ ball. Even if they are chipping from off the green, you may see their ball react in a way you were not expecting due to a hidden slope. This will help you to judge your own putt.