By the time you’re reaching for your putter, you know you’re almost there!
The end is in sight and all you have to do is sink it. The pressure often mounts up and you end up making silly mistakes that you swear you don’t usually make!
So why does the putt often end up being the bit that unravels all your earlier good work? It’s usually a case of misjudging the shot.
Research by Golf.com found that golfers are notoriously bad at reading the green. In fact, in a study of 72 amateur golfers, every single one misread the green, regardless of whether they were behind the ball, behind the hole, crouching or standing.
So, how can you break this curse and become a better green-reader? After a whole lotta research and a helluva lotta practice, we’ve nailed down a way to more accurately determine those distances…
If you find you’re JUST missing the putt, and you can’t work out why, try these tips out and see how much your putting improves!
Tip 1 – What’s The Best Angle?
Stand side on to the ball and the cup so you’re equidistant between the two. This will give you a better idea of the distance than standing behind the ball or the hole itself.
Then, take your putter and point it to the ball. Now follow the stroke path with your club from the ball to the cup, at the speed you imagine the ball to travel at.
Making this swinging motion will help you judge the power and amount of energy you need to strike the ball with.
Tip 2 – How To Judge The Slope
There’s no right answer to whether you should read the slope from behind the hole or behind the cup. But, as a general rule:
- If your put is downhill: read from behind the hole.
- If your put is uphill: read from behind the ball
The reason for this is, you should always be reading the green from the low side, with your eyes perpendicular to the slope, so you’re looking into the hill, rather than down it.
Tip 3 – Use Your Surrounding Horizontals
Use your surroundings to help you judge the slope better. Look around for flatlines in the background of your shot e.g a bench, the clubhouse or a pond, then compare those horizontal lines to the angle of the slope you’re faced with.
(Bonus tip: bad judgement of a slope can usually be traced back to outside ‘noise’ cluttering your view. To avoid this, cup your hands around your face with your fingers, making a horizontal line above your eyebrows. This will help you to focus your view on the slope at hand.)
Tip 4 – Striking The Ball
When you address the ball, try putting in a slight upstroke with a little bit of shaft lean. This will get the ball rolling as quickly and evenly as possible.
[Practice drill: To check you’re rolling the ball correctly, color half your ball in with a marker pen. If the ball is rolling correctly, when you hit it the colored side should always be on the same side. If you’re not rolling the ball correctly, the two colors will become a blur.]
If you’ve got any other handy tips or if you’ve used any of ours, let us know! I always like to hear how you’re getting on!