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How Can I Read Long Breaking Golf PuttsReading greens is a skill that every golfer needs to learn if they are to really improve their scores. It is on this expertly manicured patch of turf that you will hit on average approximately 40% - 45% of all your shots in a typical round of golf.




To improve this skill, the first thing you should be doing is paying attention to the green as you approach it. From 50 yards and in you should be looking for any ridges running from the greenside bunkers, if there is a change in the level of the green, and if there are any water hazards around it. Once you reach the putting surface and mark your ball, you should be looking to see if anything that you have observed on your approach may affect your putt.

The next thing you do is the most important part of reading longer breaking putts. You must walk the full 360 degrees around your putt. Start with your feet either side of your marker and try to feel through your feet if more of your body weight falls to one side. Taking care not to stand on the line of your playing partners putts, you should walk around and at half way between your ball and the hole on what you think could be the low side of the putt, stop and stand again to see if the feeling differs from that of when youre astride of your marker.

Continue around to the opposite side of the hole from your ball and feel the green with your feet once more. This time you should also crouch down and look along the line to see if what you feel with your feet can also be seen with your eyes too. Now walk back to your marker and be ready for your turn. You should have the knowledge in your mind of the way your weight moved between your feet which indicates the direction that your ball will travel along the green. Use the line or logo you have on your ball to line the ball up to the line that you feel the ball will travel on and trust it. If you follow this approach, you will see a dramatic improvement in your green reading and you will see the number of putts you have in a typical round become less and less the more you practice.

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For the plumb bob method to work, the shaft of your putter must hang straight down perfectly vertical, but because few putters have a shaft that hangs in this way, if any do at all means that this method of green reading doesnt really work.

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On some occasions, the line of your putt is clearly visible but for the majority of putts you will face, your eyes will see very little of the true break of your putt. To only ever look down the line of the putt you face will not give you the information you need to become a good putter.

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Looking at your putt in this way is not a good idea because many golf course designers are creating greens that may look like they slope in a particular direction. They may, for example, place a small water hazard in the opposite direction to the look of the slope to trick you into paying little attention to your putt. The result will see you mis-read most of your putts.