There is a famous quote: "knowledge is power" and this is never more true than on the greens on a golf course.
Knowledge and information of a green helps the golfer to predict what the ball will do as it rolls across the putting surface, which of course, will up the chances of making any putt.
Tiger Woods is a great example of collecting information. During his practice rounds for a tournament, you will see him playing his shots on to the greens but then not necessarily holing the putts that he has just hit. Instead, he stands in different areas of the green and rolls the ball to different places, where he thinks that the flags might be located for the tournament rounds ahead. After each putt he will take out his notebook and write down any information that he has collected ready for use at a later time if he needs it. With this information he is thoroughly prepared for any similar shots that he might take in a tournament setting.
If you have taken a putt and it misses the hole it is important that you switch off from the emotions that you might feel having missed, and switch on to what the ball is doing as it goes past the hole. Here is a golden opportunity to gain prior information, just as Tiger does, for the next putt that you take.
There are two things that you need to look for:
1. The break of the putt
After the hole, the ball you have just hit will be slowing down and so will indicate the slopes on the green as gravity becomes the dominating factor as the ball rolls down any hills. Notice whether the ball turns to the left or the right and by how much. At this point you have given yourself a physical example to read your next putt.
2. The speed of the putt
This is more difficult but it is important to notice whether the ball speeds up or slows down after the hole. This gives you a great indication as to whether your next putt will be uphill or downhill. This is more difficult to spot and so you need to be switched on and take a few steps backwards or forwards as the ball is rolling so that you can see a view of your putt from the side. This gives a better view of any uphill or downhill slopes.
It can be emotional missing a putt, but it is also a fantastic tool to use so that you do not miss your next putt. Switch off your emotions, switch on your attention and save shots on the golf course.