Often, new golfers underestimate putting and sizing up a green. Some believe that the “hard part” is making it to the green, and once you’re on the green, you’ll just have a straight shot to the hole. Of course, most putting greens are uneven or sloped, and so putts break left or right.
This is why more experienced golfers size up the green before they putt, so here are our…
Top 3 Tips for Sizing Up a Green
Tip 1 – Take a moment
Take a moment to read the green. Study the lay of the green before you line up your putt. Is there a slope? Is the cup positioned to the right or left of that lope? The goal of this is to determine how the ball will roll.
Tip 2 – Think about distance
The two major aspects of putting are: distance and direction. Direction is fairly intuitive, as long as you take that moment to read the green. Distance is what you should consider (and can practice on your own as well!). How will the ball move side to side on the green? For uphill putts, try enough speed to place the ball a couple feet beyond the hole. With downhill putts, try to target the ball to stop a couple feet short of the hole. This will either set up your second putt well, or compensate for the common overestimation / underestimation of your first shot.
Tip 3 – Don’t over-analyze
Don’t read too much into the putt. It’s best to go with your first instinct. Many golfers will try to psychoanalyze a putt too much, to the point that they timidly undershoot the cup, or end up three-putting or higher. Especially if you’re a newer golfer, you probably don’t need to take too long to eye the break or consider your shot options – remember, a lot of it is feel and practice, practice, practice!
We hope these tips help you as you size up a green. Avoiding a three-putt and sinking the ball in one or two strokes is what separates the best golfers from the rest.