A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting Natalie Gulbis, LPGA Tour Player at the LPGA Tour event at Thornberry Creek at Oneida.
I watched Natalie Gulbis walk all around the green then squat down at various locations to read her putt (pictures in this article).
Once she gathered her data, she was prepared to execute the putt. This is so unlike the average golfer that tends to rush their putts without any thought about reading the slope of the green.
If you want to improve your putting skills, try these green reading tips the next time you approach the putting green.
- Prior to hitting your approach shot, consider the overall terrain and the slope of the green. Often the green will be sloped to the fairway. Try to place your shot so the ball is below the hole. It is much easier to putt uphill than downhill.
- Once on the green, try to feel the slope of the green under your feet.
- Check for water run offs and deep shades of green. The darker the green, the more concentrated the grass which results in slower green speed.
- Squat down low to see the slope from behind the hole and then from behind the ball. Like Natalie, I find that by shading the outside of your eyes when reading the green, it improves your visual to see your line of putt and it knocks out any peripheral vision distractions.
So, the next time you approach the putting green, remember to pay attention to the overall terrain and the slope prior walking up to the green. Once on the green, observe the color variation and feel the slope with your feet. Finally bend down low to see the slope from various locations.
Familiarizing yourself with the green ahead of time will make it easier to read the green for more accurate putting and lower scores.
For more green reading tips, schedule a lesson with me today!
Tami Bealert, PGA Director of Golf Instruction, North Shore CC, Mequon, Wisconsin.