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How to Properly Read the Green

This lesson on how to properly read the green will improve your ability to gauge the break and line of your putts.
It’s worth remembering that although reading greens is an important part of good putting, distance control is more important…

A well-paced putt that is roughly on line will never be more than a few feet away. A putt that’s bang online but poor for pace usually ends up as a 3-putt.

With that said, ideally we want the best of both worlds – great pace and a great line. Read below for a great tip on reading the greens:

  • Start assessing a green from a distance as you walk up to it from your approach shot. Get a feel for the general lie of the land – notice where the major slopes are, if there are any ponds or drainage run off areas etc.
  • Getting down low to the ground, behind the golf ball will give you a better perspective to judge the severity and number of breaks facing your putt.

  • Try to walk the length of your putt and take a look from behind the hole. Viewing the putt from various angles will give you a much more accurate impression of what’s going to happen.
  • Pay particular attention to the second half of the putt. Any slopes or break here will have a much greater influence on the ball because it will have slowed down considerably.
  • Most handicap golfers under-read big breaking putts by about half. In other words, they’ll only hit the ball half as high up the slope as they need to. So, when lining up your putt, pick a target that you believe is at the top of the slope or break and focus on hitting your putt to that target.

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