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Know the Speed, Rule the Greens

Know the Speed, Rule the Greens

What’s the one thing TOUR players hate more than anything? The dreaded double-cross is pretty miserable, but nothing they can’t sort out after a few range sessions. Shanks are obviously no fun either, but very few and far between for players of that caliber.

For our money, the most disappointed you’ll ever see a professional (or amateur, for that matter) golfer is right after leaving any putt short. Red numbers are hard enough to come by as it is.  Missing opportunities by mere inches often make the difference between claiming the win or walking away in defeat.

 

The common school of thought is to give that putt a chance to go in, which means getting the ball past the cup. Unfortunately, players that stand over a putt with this mentality often make the mistake of overdoing it and leave themselves with no-gimmie coming back.

This is how green reading can make or break your performance with the flatstick. Knowing how a putt breaks is certainly essential, but not having the right speed will put you in the losers bracket faster than you can say “hotdog at the turn.”

What to Look For

So what are the things to look out for when trying to determine speed? First thing’s first: Make sure to hit some putts before your round on the practice range. This will be your first indicator of how the greens are rolling on the course. Granted, this isn’t always completely accurate, but an essential step nonetheless.

This is where a simple drill with The Perfect Putter can be put to use. 

Once complete, hit some putts from all angles, straight uphill, downhill and flat, to get the best indication of the speed.

Remembering What You’ve Learned

OK, you’re on the course and on the first green. At this point, your only frame of reference is the practice green. So put that knowledge in practice, hit the putt, and remember the result. If it was an uphill putt that was short of the cup, internalize that information and adjust accordingly at the next hole.

Continuously monitoring how short or long your putts end up as your round progresses will dial you into the right speed. Combine that with the right line and you can punch your ticket to one-putt city.

Should you find that the practice green is WAY off from the conditions on course, that’s OK, don’t get discouraged. It may be a long day on the putting surfaces, but could also be a lot longer had you not putted at all.

Remember, the more you know about the greens, the better off you’ll be. And it all starts at the practice area, so don’t skip it or you’ll be begging for mulligans all day long. Know the speed and rule the greens, that’s how we do it. 

If you don’t have The Perfect Putter, you can learn more about it on our site, or purchase one today. From Harris English to Russell Knox, our list of more than 60 PGA TOUR professionals who use it in training just keeps growing. 

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