If you want to improve your putting, you must be able to read the greens. It’s important to detect the bumps and see the bends if you want make it into the hole. Here are a few tips to help you become a master putter among your friends.
How Bad is Your Depth Perception?
The majority of people have poor depth perception which means they think something is closer than it really is. To determine if you are one of those people, take the following test.
- Find something to focus on in the distance in front of you.
- Close your eyes and lift your arms up to where you think that item is.
- Open your eyes and notice how close or far away from the actual item your arms were. This tells you how far off your depth perception is.
You can improve depth perception out on the course with a little practice. Before putting, look at the ball from the side rather than from behind. You’ll have a better view of the length of the putt needed. Walk off your putt by pointing your putter at the golf ball and swing it in the direction you want it to go at the speed you want it to travel. This helps your body remember how much effort you must put into the real putt.
Change Where You Read the Putt
Adjust your technique based on the angle of the ball to the hole. It will help your eyes have a more accurate assessment of distance. Experts recommend that you read from behind the hole if the putt will be downhill. If it’s going uphill, read from behind the ball. In either situation, you’re reading from the low side.
If you try to read the putt as it’s tilted down the hill, you’ll end up with a distorted view. The line runs away and makes the distance seem farther than what it is.
Feel the Slope
Since your eyes can play tricks on you, it’s a good idea to have an alternate method for reading the putting distance. You can feel the slope with your feet instead of trying to read it with your eyes.
First, start off about halfway between the hole and the ball and pay attention to your feet. Notice which foot has more pressure, which is the direction of the slope. Determine how much of a slope you have by picking a number between one and five. Five is a deep slope while one means no slope.
Hold up the number of fingers that corresponds to the number you picked for the severity of slope. Line them up by the high side of the cup and aim for the outside of your fingers.
Block Out Distractions
Put your focus on a flat line somewhere in the distance and compare it to how much tilt the green has in the foreground. You can find a bench or creek with a flat line. Even a window on the clubhouse can act as your flat line.
Another option is the brim of your cap. Use your hands and place them over your eyes with the palms curved down to block any peripheral distractions. This will give you a view of your true line.
Learn to Lean
It’s natural to lean in the direction of the slope, but it can cause your putt to be off. Instead, lean into the slope. It doesn’t take much! Just add a little flex to your ankles and shift your weight onto your toes if you’re putting from right to left or onto your heels for putts that go from right to left.
Consider Side-to-Side Tilt
While you must focus on the slope from the ball to the hole, you don’t want to forget about the amount of slope from one side to the other. You’ll want to squat down behind the hole and look at the green nearby.
Imagine two flat coins or use real coins, one on each side of the line between the ball and the hole. Your mind’s eye should see which coin is lower than the other to determine the direction of the slope and how severe it is. Repeat this process until you get back to the ball.
Follow these tips to see your putting move up a level and improve your golfing game.