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Tips, Stories & Articles

Dec 11

Written by: ehanczaryk
12/11/2011 2:39 PM  RssIcon

In October I attended a conference on teaching, at the Tournament Players Course (TPC) at the Four Seasons Resort, home of the Byron Nelson Classic.

The next presentation was AimPoint founder, Mark Sweeney, who was named one of golf's Top Innovators by Golf Digest Magazine, and was called "the best kept secret in golf" by the Golf Channel.

In terms of immediately scoring better, this has been the most important presentation. Mr. Sweeney has come up with an easy to follow, scientifically based way to read greens. Here are the highlights of his presentation:

·         A golf ball reacts to a set of laws.

·         It will always fall a predictable amount (gravity), based on its relationship to the slope.

The reading process:

·                                 First, find the straight uphill putt. That can be identified either visually, or by walking it off. Visually, if you imagined filling the cup until it overflowed with water, where would the water flow? That is the straight downhill line.

·                                 If you can’t see it, then walk around the hole in a ten to twenty foot radius. Let your feet find the low point. (Champion blind golfer Brian MacLeod from Truro reads greens better than most sighted golfers).

Think of the green as a large piece of plywood, tilted up on one side.

aim point.jpg

Once the straight putt is determined, then the break will always follow a pattern. Putts to the right of the straight line will break right to left,  putts to the left of the straight line will break left to right.



The 90 degree putts (9 and 3 on the illustration), break the most, and the break is less when the putt is closer to the straight (12 and 6:00) line. Easy Peasy, eh?

If you still have problems finding the straight putt, look for the drainage point at the edge of the green. Sweeney calls this the anchor point.  All putts from the anchor point to the cup essentially go straight, even in the event of a double break.

I taught an NSGA camp with CPGA Professional Jared Lohnes, Director of Golf at Osprey Ridge in Bridgewater. He told a story of being taught by the caddymaster of a club in Florida how to quickly read the greens if you are carrying double (two players|). The advice was to approach the green from the low point, from that vantage point all the breaks are evident.

If you see two drainage points, then the green has a crown. This, he said, is the exception, and results in the putts you occasionally see on the PGA Tour, that everybody misreads. For the most part, if you follow his basic green reading instructions, you will become a good green reader, which is the first step in good putting..


Opposing Forces in your Swing
Sometimes it IS a game of perfect
Try harder Illusion
Illusion #1, On Stage
Golf's Illusions
Open Focus
Greatness in Golf
Six Steps to a Strong Mental Golf Game
At a Teaching Workshop: Stan Utley
At a Teachinhg Workshop: Aim Point Green Reading

The POWER TOWEL...hit it a mile

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