HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY GREEN READING?
One of the best ways to improve your green reading is to change your perspective. Rather than simply evaluating the break and your chosen line from behind the ball, move further to the low side and look again. Do this until you are sure that there is visually no more break. Renowned golf instructor Jeff Ritter shares this clever strategy for better green reading and making more putts. He suggests that you change your perspective. For many golfers, this may result in a change of your chosen line by as much as 70% - as most golfers dramatically under-read the break of their putts.
Look From the Low Side
One of the more confusing aspects associated with putting is green reading. Players frequently severely under read the amount of break they have on their putts. If you're like many golfers, you probably finish reading each putt by looking from the ball to the hole line. If this what you normally do, venture a guess on how far to left or to the right you think you have to aim this ball to get it to finish in the hole? For example, with some putts, by looking only behind the ball, the putt appears to break just a couple of inches from the left back to the right.
Read the Break
But challenge yourself to see even more break. Shift your position more down the slope so that you can look more up the slope. There's a high probability that you're going to see a lot more break than you saw from your original position. Keep on shifting down the slope. Keep looking more up the slope until you hit your breaking point. That is the point where you say to yourself there's no way this putt can possibly break that much. Once you get there, shift back one position walk into your golf ball and roll your putt. You'll find that the actual break on your putt will be as much as 70 to 80 percent more than you originally saw from looking at your normal position from the ball looking straight to the hole.
Consistent Setup will Equal Consistent Results
No matter how well you read the break, you will still need a good address position, especially getting your eyes directly over the ball. Take a comfortable putting stance that places the golf ball directly below your eyes. This can be tested by placing a golf ball against your forehead, then just gently releasing the ball to the ground. If you are aligned properly, the ball will land directly on top of the ball on the ground.
Hit the Sweet Spot
Ideally, you want your putter face to be striking the golf ball slightly on the upstroke. This will create a little topspin and a better roll. To ensure that you are consistently stroking your putts into the sweet spot of the putter, place tees in the ground that are just a fraction wider than the width of the putter blade. The tees provide instant feedback. These tees form an alley for putter blade to pass between. When your stroke it steady and even, the putter blade will pass between to the tee pegs cleanly with no contact.
Improving Your Putting is Your Fastest Way to Lower Your Golf Scores
Putting represents between 40% to 60% of the score of most golfers. However, if you visit just about any practice facility, the driving range will be full, but the practice greens will usually be empty. The statistic above lets us know that this should be reversed.
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Jeff Ritter is Founder and Director of MAKE THE TURN Performance at Pronghorn Academy. The Golf Digest Editor’s Choice as “Best Academies in the West,” Ritter is also ranked as the #1 Coach in Oregon by Golf Digest. A Lead Coach For Golf Channel Academy, as well as ranked among the Top 25 Teachers in America by Golf Tips magazine, Ritter is an expert communicator with an impressive pedigree working with top amateurs, elite juniors, collegiate standouts as well as players on the professional tours.
An accomplished coach, author and speaker, Jeff is known for his unique approach to teaching the game. His passion for inspiration, body health and mental flexibility has set him apart as a purveyor of not only playing well but living well.
A consistent presence in the world of golf media, Jeff is a regular featured guest on Golf Channel appearing on programs such as Morning Drive. In 2016 he was host of PGA National Instruction Day on Golf Channel, the most watched golf instruction event in history. In 2014 he created the MAKE THE TURN Weekly Challenge Series for Golf Digest TV. The program was the most successful series on the Golf Digest platform, garnering 20 million viewers. In addition to his role at Pronghorn, Jeff is also National Director of NIKE Junior Golf Camps overseeing 200 + locations throughout North America.
His inspiring perspective on game and lifestyle development has Jeff traveling internationally to share the MAKE THE TURN message of living more powerfully through the game of golf.