This way, you'll see how much the putt really breaks. Place another ball in front of the marker, but instead of aiming straight at the hole, aim your putter the same distance to the right as the putt missed to the left during your read practice in step 3. Notice in the bottom photo that I've moved the yellow ball the appropriate amount to the right of the hole.
Once you're aimed correctly, stroke the putt—and imagine you need this one to win your club championship or shoot your best score ever. This makes your practice stroke feel "real. Comparing the amount of break you see to what's real is an effective way to hone your green-reading skills. Learn to trust them. Keep putting from in front of the marker—adjusting your aim as needed—until you hole this nine-footer with perfect speed. Once you can make five in a row, you'll know exactly—and I mean exactly—how much this putt breaks from right to left.
Continue the drill on the other side of the hole to work on left-to-righters. Then try it from different distances. The more you practice reading putts—and practice confirming reads with actual makes—the better you'll get at judging break on the course, where it counts.
You won't just jar more putts—you'll make the ones that other golfers miss. Receive insider analysis, swing tips, equipment news, special offers and much more. We've all been there. You hit a great shot into the green, you're feeling good about yourself, but then you see the break your putt is going to take and you freak out a little bit.
But, it's not an art form that you can't master by following some simple steps. Labritz says one question he's often asked is: Fair question -- one that Labritz has a rather simple and logical answer for: If you can see hills and slope, you can read a green.
Reading the green, Labritz explained, happens before you even reach the dance floor. Generally, people are riding golf carts on the course," he said. If you're on a cart, you're going to pull up to the sides of the greens.
You're not getting a good look at the green, straight on, from the front. I'd say you should start reading the green when you're 20 yards out. That's where you can really start to see the slope. Once you're 20 yards out, Labritz encourages you to start looking at the green from left to right and front to back.
If you do that, the idea is that by the time you reach you're ball you already have a good idea of how the putt is going to move. If you've done your homework on the walk up to the green, you'll already know that it's pitched a certain way. That's why you need to read the green from the front and really pay attention on the walk up. If you're right over the top of the ball, you're not going to see the slope or the subtleties. When we got to the green, I moved the ball back to 15 feet and asked her to make it.
The concentrated, focused effort that she gave her full swings, complete with well-rehearsed, well-orchestrated pre-shot routines, was completely absent when she went to make her putting stroke. Those are the exact words Phil Mickelson used when we worked with him last fall: I never — never! Once I see my line my eyes never leave it. The reason why is that the moment you start making practice strokes next to the ball, you lose your view of the line and your chances of success.
Plus, you make the game longer than it has to be. Make your read, step in and putt. Think about it this way: Of course not, and pool is the most-hand-eye-coordination-intense game in the world. When I was working with Annika Sorenstam in the s, she was absolutely convinced she needed to make a few practice strokes to get the feel and speed right. In a bit of a compromise, I got her to start taking practice strokes while standing behind the ball, not after she had taken her stance.
This allowed her to get her feel senses in order without ever taking her eyes off the line. If you roll the ball over that one-inch spot, you should consider your putt a success. Your putting stroke should be more like a paintbrush stroke, not a flat-out hit.