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Reading putts: The top tips!

Posted at August 5, 2012 | By : | Categories : Golf Tips & Tricks | 0 Comment

Want to be better at reading putts?

It’s happened to all of us….a perfect putt, or so we thought turns the wrong way on the journey to the hole and we miss due to mis-reading the green. Personally I find it very frustrating to waste one of my (few) best putts on a misread!

Well here are my top tips to avoid this situation.

1. Go with the first impression, it’s the most accurate

Our eyes naturally straighten crooked lines after as little as 5 seconds which was discovered as far back as 1937 by research done in aviation at the time. The process is called normalisation and is ‘built in’ to the human eye. This can be useful when putting up shelves at home as when I am told they are not straight I just get my wife to stare at them for 30 seconds and they appear straight! Although when things slide off them and break it is not as easily explained! But it’s not useful to us on the putting green

2. Ignore the ‘natural’ lie of the land around the green. E.g. A green on a hillside.

 This just makes things worse because if we look at the hillside our eyes start to flatten that line out and when you then look at a fairly flat piece of ground it can appear to be sloped when in actual fact it is straight! Do what Bernhard Langer used to do and ‘blinker’ your eyes to the surrounding scenery.

3. Look from the lower side of the hole and get down as low as possible

The aforementioned crooked shelf is best looked at from shelf height to assess its straightness (eyes level with the height of the shelf) otherwise the angle we are looking for is too great and illusions can be created. So get your eyes as close to the ground your ball has to roll over as possible.

4. If in doubt play more break.

Due to the effect discussed in section 1(our eyes flattening slopes the longer we look at them) we therefore most often underestimate the break and miss on the low side. Hence the reason most golfers miss on the low side.

All the above and more is discussed and covered on my putting schools and lessons. For more information on these feel free to email me. Keep an eye on the website for planned dates.

 Gordon Morrison


About Gordon Morrison

Teaching Golf for the last 20 years has shown me what works and what doesn’t work. I have strived to improve my knowledge year on year and have recently completed my studies in Sports Psychology to Masters Level at Northumbria University concluding with a specialist project in how people learn skills for Golf. One of only 15 people in Britain + Ireland, I am a consultant to the Professional Golfers Association Training program and pass on my knowledge to help young professionals learn the art of coaching golf. PGA Advanced status was awarded in 2004.

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