Reading the green.
Green reading can cause many problems for many golfers regardless of the level to which they play.
Some people seem to have a knack for it, whilst others seem to find it extremely difficult and confusing.
The problem with green reading is that they are various factors that affect the putt.
But there are a few tricks that you can use to help you out with green reading.
LOOK AT THE LIE OF THE LAND IN GENERAL
Take a look at the general topography of the land around the green/golf course. This will give you a clue as to which way the ball will tend to fall. If the land at the back of the green, naturally, is higher than the land at the front of the green then the ball will follow this trend.
LOOK FOR WATER (LAKES/RIVERS/DITCHES)
As a general rule a green will always fall towards the nearest point of water. This is because when it rains the water will run to the nearest low point. This means that the natural path of the green will also follow this rule.
LOOK AT THE GRAIN OF THE GRASS
The grain of the grass, or to put it simply the way the grass grows will have an affect on how the ball will travel across the green. If you are putting into the grain of the green your ball will travel slower. If you putt with the grain it will be quick. You can tell which way the grass is growing in a couple of ways;
1 – Know where the sun rises and sets. The grass will tend to grow towards the sun rise.
2 – The tint of the green. If you are looking down the grain (with it) the grass will have a silvery hue to it. Looking against the grain the grass will have a greener hue and be lusher looking.
Putting across the grain will also affect the amount the ball will turn. Putting across green into the grain will result in less movement. Putting across the green with the grain will result in more movement.
The last thing that you need to consider when trying to read a green is the center point of the hole. Now this may seem strange, as the center of the hole is obviously where you place the flag. But I am not talking about that, I want you to consider where the center of the hole is on the lip.
To make this clear, when you have a dead straight putt, the center of the hole is the point directly in front of you.
This center point changes depending on the line of the putt you have. So if a putt is going to turn into the hole from the right this center point also moves to the right of the hole as you look at it.
The reason this is an important thing to think about is because you are trying to increase your chances of holing the putt. If you aim at the “front center” of the hole you only have a very small portion of the ball to fall into, with a breaking putt. If you move this center point to match the break of the putt then you will increase the area of the hole into which the ball can fall.
Until Next Time,
The Golf Swing Doctor