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Trouble reading greens


John Wenger
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Looking for free resources that can help with becoming a more advanced green reader. I’ve had some bad misreads that I need to find a way to get rid of.

Edited by John Wenger
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Driver - Titleist TSi3 9 degree w/ Diamana ZF 60 TX (tipped "0.5)

3 Wood - Titleist TSi2 16.5 degree w/ Diamana GT 70 TX 

Utility Iron - Titleist U500 3 iron w/ DG 120 X100 

4-PW Irons - Wilson Staff Model CB irons w/ Modus 120X

52 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12F grind 

56 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12D grind

60 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 08M grind (* w/ back ribbon shaved down)

Putter - Scotty Cameron 11.5X righty to lefty conversion w/ custom center shaft weld and black satin coating. Garsen Quad Pro grip.

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You might consider trying Aimpoint.

 

My eyes have definitely gotten less acute as I've gotten older.  My putting has suffered statistically in the past few years and I decided to try Aimpoint again this season.  I had taken an Aimpoint group lesson back in 2005 or so with the Texas Tech Golf Teams, but it was way too complicated for me with all the graphs and calculations, so I gave up after just a couple of rounds.  The Aimpoint Express that is taught now is far simpler and a lot quicker to use on the course.  And it really helped this time having an in person, one on one,  Aimpoint lesson where I could ask questions and get a much more in depth explanation of how and why the process needs to be done.  I found the video you can download off the Aimpoint website to be long on how great it is, but short on the nuances of actually learning the skills involved.  I came away from my in person lesson a LOT more confident in the actual process.

 

My success this past season was mixed.  There were many putts where using Aimpoint was clearly an advantage.  I very seldom completely misread a putt.  Those times when you see it breaking left to right and then it goes right to left are infuriating.  Aimpoint pretty much eliminated those sorts of mistakes.  But there are times when my eyes and Aimpoint don't see the break amount the same.  I tend to combine what I see with what I can feel with my feet and they can disagree.  So then I'm not as committed as I should be either way.  So Aimpoint does not magically make you a great putter.  For me it's more of a confirmation to what I see.  Of course my ability to discern .5% slope difference you need to be able to detect is not nearly as good as it should be at this point, so I'm committing a lot this off season training to practicing getting better with my sensitivity to slope with my feet.

 

For me Aimpoint is just one more tool to keep father time at bay just a little bit longer and at least give me a bit more confidence on the greens. 

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6 hours ago, getitdaily said:

Where do you live?

Cameron Park, CA

Driver - Titleist TSi3 9 degree w/ Diamana ZF 60 TX (tipped "0.5)

3 Wood - Titleist TSi2 16.5 degree w/ Diamana GT 70 TX 

Utility Iron - Titleist U500 3 iron w/ DG 120 X100 

4-PW Irons - Wilson Staff Model CB irons w/ Modus 120X

52 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12F grind 

56 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12D grind

60 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 08M grind (* w/ back ribbon shaved down)

Putter - Scotty Cameron 11.5X righty to lefty conversion w/ custom center shaft weld and black satin coating. Garsen Quad Pro grip.

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Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve been avoiding aimpoint because I don’t feel like I do well with feeling the nuances of the green with my feet. Working on spending more time looking at the contours of the entire green. Just listened to Jon Sherman’s “The Sweet Spot” pod and he had a good episode on putting that might help. After listening to the pod it seems like one of my problems might just be lack of awareness walking up to the green, not spending enough time walking around, looking at all angles

Driver - Titleist TSi3 9 degree w/ Diamana ZF 60 TX (tipped "0.5)

3 Wood - Titleist TSi2 16.5 degree w/ Diamana GT 70 TX 

Utility Iron - Titleist U500 3 iron w/ DG 120 X100 

4-PW Irons - Wilson Staff Model CB irons w/ Modus 120X

52 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12F grind 

56 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12D grind

60 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 08M grind (* w/ back ribbon shaved down)

Putter - Scotty Cameron 11.5X righty to lefty conversion w/ custom center shaft weld and black satin coating. Garsen Quad Pro grip.

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Tricky reads or actual slope and direction can be confirmed, aka "ground truthing" w apps such as Breakmeter during practice rounds or on the practice green.  I believe the more we present the actual, true readings of the fall line and severity to our brains the easier green reading will become.  It's helpful when learning AP Express as well.  Sensing slope through our feet is a skill that needs practice to develop.    

 

As you indicate looking at the putt from both sides and below consistently on every putt is good practice.  Frankly the oft repeated advice to begin reading your putt from off the green is a little suspect for the actual value it provides, especially on the really subtle putts imho.  

 

I also feel stupid giving advice to + cap, but hope you find what you're looking for.

 

Edited by againstthegrain
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I went from hating putters and putting to it probably being the best part of my game. Getting a putter I love (Callaway Tuttle) helped, but improved reading made the biggest difference.

 

For me, overreading the break was a problem, so really cutting the break by at least 50% helped a lot. 

 

I practice with two balls. I pick a hole, make my best read, and hit the first ball. Then, I reread it (taking into account what I learned on the first ball) and hit the second. Then, I move on to the next hole. (I use the same two ball approach to short game practice.) I've gone from getting the 2nd ball inside the first about 50% of time to nearly always.

 

I don't know why what I did worked. Maybe I have a knack for putting and just needed to change my attitude and actually practice.

 

A couple of things that stick out as things to tell people who are struggling...

 

Roof lines in the background are horizontal. If you're visually disoriented on a green, you can get back on track by comparing the greens to rooflines.

And related to that...I think feeling break with your feet is something you should regularly do. Counting on your eyesight is less accurate than you think. If you want to see how off your vision can be, take a look back at your vacation pictures and notice how many of them have tilted horizons. 

 

This is probably painfully obvious, but the further the putt goes, the more it's slowing down and the more affected it will be by break. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, John Wenger said:

Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve been avoiding aimpoint because I don’t feel like I do well with feeling the nuances of the green with my feet. Working on spending more time looking at the contours of the entire green. Just listened to Jon Sherman’s “The Sweet Spot” pod and he had a good episode on putting that might help. After listening to the pod it seems like one of my problems might just be lack of awareness walking up to the green, not spending enough time walking around, looking at all angles


Using your feet is an incomplete term.  You have to let the weight of your body sink into the hips, knees, feet so you can feel your body leaning.  The more you do it, the more you will get it right.  It’s not something you get right away.

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M4 Driver
Launcher HB 3 wood

3,4,5,6 hybrids (22,25,28 degrees)  Adams
Usually XR16 9W instead of 4H
7-GW Maltby STi or TS2 irons, graphite
54 & 58º Wedges
some aggravating putter
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On 11/27/2022 at 3:51 PM, Snowman9000 said:


Using your feet is an incomplete term.  You have to let the weight of your body sink into the hips, knees, feet so you can feel your body leaning.  The more you do it, the more you will get it right.  It’s not something you get right away.

This is very helpful, don’t think I ever thought of it that way, which is probably what I was doing wrong. I will definitely work on it and practice the feeling, thanks!

  • Like 1

Driver - Titleist TSi3 9 degree w/ Diamana ZF 60 TX (tipped "0.5)

3 Wood - Titleist TSi2 16.5 degree w/ Diamana GT 70 TX 

Utility Iron - Titleist U500 3 iron w/ DG 120 X100 

4-PW Irons - Wilson Staff Model CB irons w/ Modus 120X

52 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12F grind 

56 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 12D grind

60 Degree - Titleist Vokey SM 8 08M grind (* w/ back ribbon shaved down)

Putter - Scotty Cameron 11.5X righty to lefty conversion w/ custom center shaft weld and black satin coating. Garsen Quad Pro grip.

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19 hours ago, John Wenger said:

This is very helpful, don’t think I ever thought of it that way, which is probably what I was doing wrong. I will definitely work on it and practice the feeling, thanks!

Make sure you try it while using a digital level or phone app on the putting surface (like Clinometer). 

 

I’ve taught the basics of Aimpoint Express to many golf buddies, and all of them were immediately able to distinguish between zero, 1, 2, and 3% slope with their feet. 4 and 5 are more rare, but easily self-trainable. 

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I went aimpoint, will never go back, and I *never* trust anything my eyes tell me except for grain. 

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Handicap .5

Current Bag:
Big Dogs: G410 for Fades, G425 for draws

FW: Ole Blue but stays on the porch most rounds

Hybrids: G425, Cobra  King Tec
Irons: Srixon ZX5/7
Wedges: PM Grind 54/58

Moneymaker: Ping Heppler Tyne 3

Rock: Srixon Z-Star Divide

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