When it comes to perfecting your putting game, the way you visually perceive the green is everything. Here are a few solid techniques to help train your eye in reading the correct line towards victory.
The Depth-Perception Test
Golfers tend to believe that distance is easier to measure than breaks, but this actually isn’t true. Try this method out to prove it. Pick a target on the green at least 20 feet away from you. Maybe it’s the bottom of the flagstick. Then close your eyes, envisioning your target, raise your arms and point two index fingers where you think the target is. Now open your eyes and see how close your fingers were to the target. It’s likely you’re a little short, which is normal. Follow these next tricks to retrain your ocular abilities.
Downhill vs. Uphill
Some experts claim you can read a putt more accurately from behind the hole. Others say it’s better to read behind the ball. The truth is, both could be right, depending on your location on the green. If your putt is pointing downhill, behind the hole is a better technique. If you’re uphill, try reading behind the ball. In other words, always favor the low side of the putt, which gives you a perpendicular view of your shot.
Use the ‘Clock’ Method
Another popular reading technique is picturing a clock on top of the hole you’re aiming at, with six o’clock pointing to the ball. Envision where on the clock your putt will roll over and land into the cup. Once you’ve assessed your line, react and adjust accordingly. If you can align your eye with the space on the clock, you have a much higher chance of making the shot.
Most people naturally gravitate towards reading the ball’s distance from the hole from a vertical angle, but try scanning the distance horizontally instead. This will give you a more accurate sense of slope. Picture two coins or small identical objects on either side of an imaginary line going from the ball to the cup, then make those objects around four feet apart. Squat down and run your eyes from side to side between the objects. If the green tilts, you’ll see one object is lower than the other, which gives you an idea of how drastic the slope is. Repeat from the other side.