Improve your putting: The key points to reading greens
Gary Nicol and Karl Morris are co-authors of the best-selling book The Lost Art Of Putting, so who better to give us some insight into how to improve our game with some tips on reading greens?
The third in a series of eight instruction videos from Archerfield is all about how to make sure you’re putting in the right direction…
How often do you approach a green with a 10-foot putt but have no idea how to read the putt? Where is the break? What is the ball going to do?
For a lot of amateur golfers, reading greens is simply a guessing game. They crouch down behind the ball, take a look at the line and can often completely misjudge it. European Tour coaches Gary and Karl have a few key points for you to follow.
Before you reach the green take note of the high and low points of the green. They will typically be on diagonal sides of each other. What that will do is make you go and read the putt from the low side so you can get an idea of how the ball is going to break and the length of the putt.
Once you’ve marked your ball have a quick look at the line to get a basic idea of which way the ball will break, but then heading to the low side you can really begin to see the changes in elevation. Looking at the low side opens up a completely different perspective, the key thing is to make sure your eyes are able to scan the whole length of the putt.
The key point is to make sure the ball and the hole is in your peripheral vision. If you keep having to move your head back and forward you won’t get a full sense of how long the putt actually is.
Reading greens is all about looking for clues. If you look down the line you’ll only get one clue, when we look at it from the low side we get two, three, four clues, and if you’re trying to solve a puzzle, the more clues you have the better. It works the exact same way for reading greens, the more clues you have, the more likely it is you’ll be able to make the putt.
Watch the video at the top of the page for more advice from Gary and Karl.