What does read­ing greens mean to you?

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Marcus Wheel­house gives some prac­ti­cal ad­vice to help you with read­ing greens.

Ever won­dered the key to read­ing

greens? Tried Aim­point? These are some of the ques­tions that may plague you...

In my ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing peo­ple hit putts and then turn­ing around giv­ing me the feed­back of where they want to hit the putt varies hugely.

Read­ing greens is a very im­por­tant part of your putt, many would say the most im­por­tant but ob­vi­ously hit­ting the ac­tual putt on your in­tended line is also key. When I played on tour I had many dif­fer­ent cad­dies. I asked some of them what they thought was the line on some of the putts I faced when I had doubt in my mind. All the great cad­dies I had al­ways asked me what I thought first. If they agreed they would just con­firm my thoughts. The bad cad­dies in my mind any­way, would blurt out their thoughts first and if that was very dif­fer­ent to what you thought, your mind is left in a scram­bled thought and there­fore the de­ci­sion to be con­fi­dent in your stroke was di­min­ished a lot. Doubt is con­stant! They only did this once and usu­ally lasted only one tour­na­ment.

The rea­son for telling you this is that it could eas­ily sum­ma­rize the state of mind of many am­a­teurs when they are over a putt. The con­ver­sa­tion in your mind is a con­stant bat­tle doubt­ing your read and your pace. Ev­ery­body has a dif­fer­ent level of skill for read­ing greens so I be­lieve this takes prac­tice. The prob­lem is that when we prac­tice, a lot of the things we do in­volves 3 or 4 balls and the brain takes the av­er­age of those 3 putts and be­lieves that it's not too bad. But if we just went around the prac­tice putting green with one ball how good would we be. Try it!

The other sce­nario I see on the putting green is peo­ple just hit­ting putts and re­act­ing to what they see and let­ting go. Then when

↑ 01: I want you to go to the prac­tice putting green with one ball and 2 tees. I want you to find some break­ing putts ap­prox­i­mately 5-10 me­ters in length. I want you to read that putt like you would on the course.

↑ 02: But be­fore you hit that putt I want you to find the apex of the putt and place a gate of 2 tees that will give you a gate to roll your ball through when you putt.

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