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Reading The Greens Like a Pro

Aug 17, 2007
Have you ever had to face the situation where you hit a ball you thought was rolling in only to see it move widely to the right? Chances are that you misunderstood the green if this has happened. Experience, sound judgment and skill are required for proper reading of the greens; so teaches my golf lessons.

Reading greens is very significant to dive more putts because there is no cut and dry rule for the determination of the direction a ball should start on, based on the slope of the green and the distance to the hole. And any day sinking more putts results in a lower golf handicap as my golf tips explain.

Lets pause a while and talk about the speed of a ball. In putting, ball speed plays a critical role. The factors that influence it are: (1) water content of the grass, (2) the direction of the growth of the grass, (3) the kind of grass you are putting on. Fast greens have the tendency to carry the ball away from the target and damp greens have the tendency to hamper the speed of the ball.

Considering how these factors influence your putt, judging a green rightly aids you to determine not only the direction of the putt but also its speed. We recommend nurturing a routine of reading green to polish your skill at this technique.

Before venturing into specifics, let's take a look at the sequence of putting. Firstly, all the elements determining ball speed and direction are lapped up by your subconscious mind. Secondly, you make up your mind how hard to hit the ball and where to hit it. Now, you putt. By observing the putt you judge how accurate you read is. You have read the green correctly if the putt goes in but you may have made a wrong judgment if it drifts by the hole.

To read a green correctly my golf tip emphasizes that experience matters to a great extent. In spite of this, I recommend that when you study a green you keep the following points in mind:

As you approach the green, start thinking about the line of the putt. Whether it slopes to the right or the left, the nicest view of the slope of the green is around 20 yards away from it. While you stand on the green, you may miss this. If the ground around the green to the right, then the green possibly slopes to the right too.

The green makes a basin that is filled up with water, if the green slides to the opposite direction. Trust me, no landscape architect who has any self-esteem will do such a thing.

If you check it from the side of the green you will know whether you have a downhill or an uphill putt. For the best view and accounting the ball's speed, the side of the green is ideal. In case of putts that are downhill, the ideal perspective for judging the slope of the terrain is provided by the low side of the green.

To understand the area surrounding the hole, stand behind the hole. This area is very important for the reason that the ball loses much of its speed by the time it reaches the hole. We see that the ground can really affect the direction of the ball.

To make a last decision on the speed and direction of the putt place yourself behind the ball. Your impression of the line and your perspective are surely to change if you position yourself above the ball. To take a final observation, being behind the ball is the ideal way to stand. Don't convert your decision, but stick to it firmly.

Lastly, do not turn away in desperation if you see the ball drift by the hole. You cannot check the accuracy of your reading until after you hit the ball because there is negligible feedback before and during a putt. You need to ask yourself a few key questions like: Did it have the right on line? Did it move at the right speed? Did it take the right direction?

It is very important to answer these questions if you want to better your sense of reading greens and sinking more putts. Succeeding at that will definitely bring down your golf handicap. So says my golf lessons.
About the Author
Reggie Dunn is a long time golfer and lover of the game. Get more information about golf at his blog, which can be found at golf lesson
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