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Reading Greens Roundtable


Dave Parks, Scott Beville and Tighe Hammam, teaching professionals at Poppy Ridge, sat down to discuss reading greens and offered advice on how to master the often overlooked skill.


SCOTT: Having the ability to read greens is a very important part of having fun playing golf. •


TIGHE: Many golfers think reading greens is a very diffi cult task and sometimes it can be. •


DAVE: But since half of the game is played on the greens, it does us no good to hit the ball 300 yards if we can’t get the ball in the hole. Ask yourself this ques-


tion. How much informa- tion do I need? Chances are, not much. If you have


a good putting stroke and are pretty good at adapting to the speed of the greens, chances are basic informa- tion will be just fi ne. •


TIGHE: Every green has a high and a low point and is designed this way for proper drainage. The low point is a little easier to fi nd, as there is usually a drain at the lowest point to collect water run-off from sprin- klers and rain. The highest point has to be searched for. As you approach the green, whether walking or riding, try and visually locate these two points.


DAVE: Does the green slope from back to front? Left to right? Are both sides of the green bowled or fl at? It is much easier to see this from a few yards off the green, especially if you are at eye level with the putting surface. For instance, if my ball is hole high and left of the fl agstick, and the green slopes from back to front and from right to left, it’s a pretty safe bet I’ve got a putt that is breaking from left to right and could be a tad uphill. •


SCOTT: I have found that close to 90 percent of


greens slope from back to front. Just by knowing that you can fi gure if you are on the back of the green you are putting downhill and if you are on the front of the green you will be putting uphill, assuming the hole location is in the middle of the green. •


DAVE: When you mark your ball look at the line of the putt. What do you see? If you can see the slope of the green, it should give you a relatively good look at the line. This is the fall line. •


TIGHE: As you approach the hole, you want to draw an imaginary circle 15 feet from the hole. Within this circle, you are going to, again, fi nd the highest point and lowest point. From this distance, the highest point and lowest points will be a straight putt to the hole. •


DAVE: Walk on the underneath side of the fall line (the right side on


Every green has a high and a low point and is designed this way for proper drainage.


64 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2011


a left-to-right putt). Look at the line and try to see the apex of the putt. The apex is the point your putt will start turning toward the hole. Remember this spot. •


SCOTT: Be sure to look


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