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Lots of stats coming out now about the amount of putts missed short or to the low side of the hole. What are some strategies you use to read break on greens and adjust if you notice missing low?

I seem to under estimate the amount of break often. Do any of you notice this during the course of a round, if so what adjustments do you make to add more break to your putts if you have under read a couple to start your round?

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Are you referring to a course that you play all the time, or when you play different courses? 

For me it's a struggle to read greens on courses that I play infrequently or for the first time.  It seems that each course has something that influences the direction of a putt, and if you don't know what that is it can be a struggle to adapt mid-round...  like in Palm Springs, everything breaks towards Indio and the Salton Sea.

If it's a course that I play all the time, it's just a matter of getting the speed right.  I know the speed pretty well in the mornings because that's when I play most often and I practice speed on the putting green before I play.  However, when I play in the evenings, the greens are much slower because the poa annua grows pretty fast during the day.  I play a little more break than I would in the morning.

On putts longer than 10 feet I am focused on the speed and getting the ball around the hole; don't care if I miss low, and depending on how much slope there is around the hole, being on the low side is better than on the high side.  I almost never leave a putt short on putts less than 10 feet.  Confidence plays a big part on these putts; if you don't routinely get the ball past the hole, then most putts will be short and on the low side.  Confidence comes into play when you know that you will make any comeback putt.  

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I took an Aimpoint Express class a couple of years ago, and I believe it has significantly improved my green reading.  Its particularly valuable on a  strange golf course, as the use of your feet to sense the slope eliminates all of the visual distractions that can mislead you into misreading a putt.  I've found places on my home course where I used to think that balls curving "uphill" were caused by grain,  were actually following the actual slope.  My visual perception was thrown off by background cues.  same thing when I've visited Palm Springs, my Aimpoint reads were pretty good, a large percentage of the greens actually do slope towards the east, towards Indio.  I don't know that Aimpoint helps everyone, but it has definitely helped me.

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In my experience missing low is either lack of proper speed or putting to the apex of the putt. 

New greens usually takes me a couple holes to figure out speed and then I can adjust to them

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13 hours ago, BMart519 said:

Lots of stats coming out now about the amount of putts missed short or to the low side of the hole. What are some strategies you use to read break on greens and adjust if you notice missing low?

I seem to under estimate the amount of break often. Do any of you notice this during the course of a round, if so what adjustments do you make to add more break to your putts if you have under read a couple to start your round?

I'm definitely a feel player when it comes to putting so I'm not sure I'll have too much value to add for you, but I almost always play for maximum break and very often miss on the high side. I only look at the hole from one direction (behind the ball) and I try to pick a point somewhere between the ball and the hole that I feel is at or near the apex. Sometimes I find it difficult to pick a good spot between the ball and the hole and in those cases I will just look somewhere immediately to the right or left of the cup for my target. 

Edited by TR1PTIK
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Honestly and this you might find shocking - Some people just have a better built-in "sense - feel- vision - whatever" for reading greens and thereby making more putts. In all my many years of playing this game that's my conclusion. Some people are just simply better at processing all the variances and making something good come of it. Others not so much. Sure there are some basic fundamentals to observe and strive for. But in the end it all comes down to how you're able to process this information into a stroke and ball path which produces the best results. Some people have it and others don't. And... you know which person your are.

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The one thing you didn't tell us is whether you are hitting your start line.   If you consistently hit your line then you can start to focus on reading the green.  If you can't hit your line,  then you won't be able to improve your reads.  

Reading greens is an experience thing; meaning you build up the knowledge over time.  You can increase your knowledge by taking classes such as aimpoint but it will still required that you match the speed to the read.  Every putt has multiple lines so you will need to do some homework on whether you want to change your read or change your speed.  

This is a video that I think does a good job of explaining a few ways how you may better visualize and aim your putt. 

 

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I think a lot of green reading depends on the quality of course played. I bounce between a lot of different courses and it can vary highly with how the greens are rolling how you should be reading them.

Sent from my SM-G950U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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One thing I didn't mention above.... do you ever see great putters holding up fingers and squinting one-eyed, straddling their line to "feel" the slope, plumb-bobbing, etc. etc.? Of course not. They don't need or have to do any of that stuff. It's all built-in to themselves. They're processors. They are able to see and read/visualize a line and slope and process all the information into a good stroke along the visualized path. Their mind tells them how and where to putt the ball and with the right amount of pressure. It's the mediocre putters that buy into all this other stuff. Sadly it will never make a mediocre putter into someone like a Tiger Woods. 

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1 hour ago, PlaidJacket said:

One thing I didn't mention above.... do you ever see great putters holding up fingers and squinting one-eyed, straddling their line to "feel" the slope, plumb-bobbing, etc. etc.? Of course not. They don't need or have to do any of that stuff. It's all built-in to themselves. They're processors. They are able to see and read/visualize a line and slope and process all the information into a good stroke along the visualized path. Their mind tells them how and where to putt the ball and with the right amount of pressure. It's the mediocre putters that buy into all this other stuff. Sadly it will never make a mediocre putter into someone like a Tiger Woods. 

I think aimpoint and the likes are becoming more and more prevalent on the tours.  Maybe not done by the player but done by the caddie and communicated to the player.   I agree with you that a visual player that sees the line will never succeed with  aimpoint,  but it is perfect for a player that putts based on a spot left or right of the hole and doesn't visualize a line.   The players you refer to a doing the same basic calculations in their head.  Whether it is seen in their head as a 2% slope or a visual representation, they are getting the same information.   I know you are a visual/feel oriented person but people process things differently and how they arrive at a solution really has no bearing on how good they are or can be.  

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Thanks for the input, I have watched the Aimpoint express videos and use the system on most putts over 6 feet. I am waiting for a training session to be offered in my area this summer to refine it further. I have taken this to the point of using cell phone apps to measure slope to try and "calibrate" my feet when first learning the system. I usually try to calibrate on the practice green before a round by guessing slope and then adjusting for stimp/slope by trial and error on a basic 10 - 15 footer that only breaks 1 way. In terms of aim, I aim for a spot right or left hole high depending on break to putt towards. Sometimes that spot will be 2-3 feet in front or behind the hole if it is a steep incline/decline. 

Pacing off my putts to measure distance has helped with speed, I am a measure/calculate player vs a feel player. So this has become part of my putting routine which also helps to feel the break over the length of the putt with my feet. Switching to a strong arc putter has increased the amount I miss long as well. 

I have spent a lot of time this winter working on 3-8 foot putts indoors, so I am confident in my ability to hit my line and practice this outdoors by placing a dime 2 feet ahead of the ball on my chosen line which I hit about 90% of the time. My problem is around read and speed. 

Made a right to left, downhill 15 footer for birdie to start my round yesterday. Then proceeded to miss most putts on the front 9 low resulting in 4x 3 putts. I did have a 50, 65 and 70 footer in those next 8 holes, but the wedges were not getting me close enough in general to convert up and downs. Ended up with a disappointing 38 putts after proceeding to miss most putts high on the back 9 with no 3 putts. Along the way managed to lip out 3 and burnt 2 edges. 

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14 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

Made a right to left, downhill 15 footer for birdie to start my round yesterday. Then proceeded to miss most putts on the front 9 low resulting in 4x 3 putts. I did have a 50, 65 and 70 footer in those next 8 holes, but the wedges were not getting me close enough in general to convert up and downs. Ended up with a disappointing 38 putts after proceeding to miss most putts high on the back 9 with no 3 putts. Along the way managed to lip out 3 and burnt 2 edges. 

Based on this info it sounds like it is more of a speed thing rather than reading the break. Generally speaking if you have a putt and get the correct speed the break is somewhat irrelevant (unless you are within a sure fire makeable distance). If you have a 30 footer and get the speed right most golfers will not misread a putt by more than 2 feet, so you have a tap in remaining. Based on strokes gained I believe anything over about 35 feet averages more than 2 putts on tour. 

This is a blanket statement but in general it applies to most golfers, even if they don't miss low. Read the break and add more than you see, hit it on that line with a focus on just speed.  

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Lots of stats coming out now about the amount of putts missed short or to the low side of the hole. What are some strategies you use to read break on greens and adjust if you notice missing low?

I seem to under estimate the amount of break often. Do any of you notice this during the course of a round, if so what adjustments do you make to add more break to your putts if you have under read a couple to start your round?

 

I actually tend to over-read break, so I can’t offer much advice here.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Interesting watch on how soon a putt breaks. 

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I agree with all who have said get the speed right plus start the ball on your intended line. If you do both those things then you have made a good putt.

One practice drill I was shown that might help -- 

  • Find a sidehill breaking putt like the ones that you may tend to either over- or under-read
  • Decide where your target spot, or aiming point, etc is and mark just beyond it with a tee
  • Go back to where you want to putt from and put down two alignment sticks forming a channel, just wider than your putter head, and pointing to your target spot
  • Roll a few putts down the channel towards your target spot testing different speeds with each putt

All these putts will necessarily be started on the same line (through the channel), but .. a slightly slower putt will look like an under-read while a slightly faster putt will look like an over-read......

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Have you ever tried re-reading a putt after you miss read it?  It's one thing to say, "Oh, I miss read that and didn't play enough break," and it's another thing to go back and read the putt again, knowing how it breaks.  Look for what was missed in the initial read.  When playing by yourself, you can go through the whole routine again.  When playing with others, just step back and look at the line again.   

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8 hours ago, alfriday101 said:

Have you ever tried re-reading a putt after you miss read it?  It's one thing to say, "Oh, I miss read that and didn't play enough break," and it's another thing to go back and read the putt again, knowing how it breaks.  Look for what was missed in the initial read.  When playing by yourself, you can go through the whole routine again.  When playing with others, just step back and look at the line again.   

I agree with this.  For me, using Aimpoint, all it takes is a stop for a second or two along the line to "re-feel" the slope.  Its kind of like re-calibrating my feet, or your eyes for those who read the break visually.

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On 5/24/2019 at 6:09 AM, DaveP043 said:

I agree with this.  For me, using Aimpoint, all it takes is a stop for a second or two along the line to "re-feel" the slope.  Its kind of like re-calibrating my feet, or your eyes for those who read the break visually.

I will try to keep this in mind, very easy to implement as I walk up to the ball. 

One of the articles in the link above to puttingzone has been helpful as well. It talks about focusing on a 3 foot circle around the hole, identifying the highest point on the lip of the cup to find the fall line in that area which is where the ball breaks the most. Then imagining 8 lines into the hole - 4 above and 4 below based on that fall line. 

 

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