A Simple Process Reading Greens

    We need to learn a lot about reading greens, but you still need to have a process for reading each putt that you encounter during a round. We are going to change that in this section. Feel free to use the process below to approach each of your putts. When executed properly, this process is going to make sure you have all the information you need to make a quality read time after time.

  • As you walk up onto the green, the first thing you should do is mark and clean your ball. Once your ball is cleaned, place it back down on the green – but leave your mark in place. This is nothing more than a safety measure. If you accidently move your ball while it is still marked, there will be no penalty and you can simply replace the ball.
  • With the ball cleaned, you should head immediately up to the hole. Stand behind the hole on an extension of the putting line and crouch down for a better view. From this angle, you are going to determine what you expect the ball to do as it approaches the cup. At this time, you should be able to determine which side of the hole is the low side.
  • To walk back to the hole, you are going to walk on the low side. Stop halfway back to the ball and evaluate the elevation change of the putt. Once you figure out how much uphill or downhill slope is involved, finish your walk by arriving behind the ball.
  • Crouch down again, this time behind the ball, and finalize your read. At this point, you should be picking an exact target line that you will use for the putt.
  • With all of the green reading out of the way, you can stand up, make a couple practice strokes, and proceed with the putt. Remember, when you stand over the ball, you don’t want to look back and forth between the ball and the cup itself. Instead, you should be looking up from the ball to find the spot that you are aiming at, either to the right or left of the hole.
  • In total, this process should not take much time, and it will provide you with all the information you need (more on saving time in the next section). At first, you might need to think through each of the steps as you go through them, but the process will become second-nature in short order. Pretty soon, you won’t really have to think about going through the green reading progression – it will just happen naturally and you’ll have all the information you need within moments.