How to Read Greens When Putting: 10 Tips

How to Read a Putting Green: Explained

Tired of missing putts because you can't read greens?


Feel like your ball has a mind of its own when you're trying to sink that elusive birdie?


Reading greens can be a tricky business, but with the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you'll be reading greens like a pro in no time.


In this how to read greens when putting article, we're going to explore the art of green-reading with some practical advice and answers to FAQs to help you improve your putting game.


So grab your putter and a cold one, and let's get started.

Understanding the Green

Before we jump into the tips, let's take a moment to understand the factors that affect your putting technique.


By taking the following factors into account, you can better predict how most putts will break and adjust your aim and speed accordingly.

Slope

The slope of the green is perhaps the most important factor in determining how a putt will break. Putts will generally break more on steeper slopes and less on flatter slopes.


The direction of the slope is also important, as the golf ball will tend to roll and break in the opposite direction of the slope.

Pro-Tip: Play more break on downhill putts and less break on uphill putts.

Grain

The grain of the grass as well as grass types can affect how a putt breaks.


Grass that is growing towards you will cause the ball to break more in that direction, while grass growing away from you will cause the ball to break less

Speed

Faster putts will break less than slower ones, all else being equal.

Distance

Longer putts will generally have a gentler break than shorter putts, so keep this in mind when hitting those long putts.

Pro-Tip: Trust your initial read, as your first golf instinct is usually better than whatever comes after.

Elevation

The elevation of the green relative to the rest of the golf course can also affect how a putt breaks. 


Greens that are elevated will tend to cause putts to break more, while greens that are below the rest of the course will tend to cause putts to break less.

Water

Last but not least is a factor that many amateur golfers overlook; factor in water on the green.


Puddles or wet areas will slow the the golf ball down down and cause it to break more, while dry areas will cause the ball to break less.

10 Green Reading Tips to Sink More Putts

1. Take Your Time

Many amateur golfers rush through the putts; the pressure is on, and they want to look good. Don't make the mistake of a beginner golfer - take your time.


Before putting, find a good vantage point and take a few moments to observe the green from multiple angles. Look for the slope and direction of the green, and try to identify the highest point along with any points or ridges on the higher side that could affect the break of your putt.


By taking your time and carefully observing the green, you'll be better able to predict how your putt will break.

2. Use Your Feet

As mentioned earlier, walking along the path of the putt can give you a better sense of the slope under your feet.


This can help you confirm your observations and make more accurate predictions about how the ball will break.

3. Visualize the Putt

Before making your putt, take a moment to visualize the hole, the path of the ball and where it will break. This mental exercise can help you stay focused and make a more confident stroke.

4. Watch Other Players

If you're playing with other golfers, observe how their putts break and adjust your aim accordingly. This can help you avoid common green-reading mistakes and improve your accuracy.

5. Consider the Speed of the Golf Ball

In addition to the slope and direction of the green, the speed of the putt can also affect how it breaks. Consider how fast or slow you need to hit the ball to get it to the hole, and adjust your aim accordingly.

6. Pay Attention to Weather Conditions

Wind and rain can also affect how a putt breaks. Take into account any weather conditions that could impact the speed or direction of your putt.

7. Look for Subtle Breaks

Sometimes, putts may break only slightly or not at all, so it's important to pay attention to subtle breaks. Even a small break can have a big impact on the path of the ball.

8. Consider Your Putter

Different putters may have different characteristics that affect how putts break. Consider the weight, loft, and shape of your putter, and how these factors could impact your putts on different greens.


If you're in the market for a better putter, give the Pyramid iCOR Putter a shot. It corrects miss-hits, has foolproof alignment guides, and has over 150+ customer reviews.

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9. Break Up Longer Putts Into Multiple Reads

Not every putt will break the same, and longer putts may require more than one break.


The green could change as the ball gets closer to the hole, so don't hesitate to break up longer putts. It's better to hit a two-putt than a three- or four-putt.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

The more you practice the green reading process, the more putts you'll sink. Try to incorporate green reading into your putting routine, and make a point to observe the green before every putt.


With time and practice, you'll be able to read greens more quickly and accurately, and make more putts as a result.

Putting Drills for Aim and Speed

Check out our top putting drills featuring golfer, model, and television personality Blair O'Neal that will help you dial in your aim and speed as well as control distance so you can sink more putts.

Putt-to-Tee Drill

This putting drill is going to get you dialed in, honed in, on the line of the target and speed.


Speed Towel Drill

Focusing solely on putting speed, this drill will help you build muscle memory so you can have more control over your speed.


Rhythm Putting Drill

Looking to work on your pace and dial in some speed? The rhythm putting drill will help you do exactly that.


Drill for Downhill Putts

Learn how to conquer those downhill putts that are fast, a little dicey, and mean a lot to the game.


FAQs

How do you read a putt?

To read a putt, you must observe the slope and direction of the green, and take into account factors such as speed, grain, distance, and elevation. You can also use your feet to feel the slope of the green and visualize the path of the ball before making your putt.

How do you read a greens slope?

To read a green's slope, you must start reading before you arrive on the green. Then, observe the surrounding area for high points or ridges that could affect the break of your putt. You can also use your feet to feel the slope underfoot, and read the putt from multiple angles to get a more complete picture of the green.

How do you read putts in 4 steps?

To read putts in four steps, you should first observe the green from multiple angles to identify the slope and direction. Next, assess the speed and grain of the green, and adjust your aim accordingly. Then, visualize the path of the ball and make your putt. Finally, practice your green-reading skills to improve your accuracy over time.

How do you read greens in a yardage book?

To read greens in a yardage book, you must consult the map and distance information provided in the book to identify the slope and direction of the green. You can also use the information provided to estimate the speed and grain of the green, as well as identify any high points or ridges that could affect the break of your putt.

And that's a wrap on our guide to reading greens when putting.


We hope that you've found these tips and tricks helpful and that you'll be able to apply them to your own putting game play.


Remember, reading greens is a skill that takes practice and patience, so don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Keep working on your green-reading technique, and before you know it, you'll be sinking putts like a pro. Who knows? Maybe one day you'll be giving the pros a run for their money.


But until then, keep hitting them straight, keep reading those greens, and most importantly, keep having fun out there on the golf course.


See you on the fairway, 

Matt | Pyramid Golf

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6 comments

My wife bought the pyramid mallet for my Christmas this year. 3 weeks later I have knocked my putts per round down to 26 from a more normal 30. Love this putter. Best I’ve owned by a bit. My 2 putts from distance are so much easier.

Ken White

Good putting article. I have a question – I recently purchased a Pyramid Putter and it is definitely helping me improve my putting game. I wanted to ask if you offer discounts to customers? I may want to purchase another one for my wife. Thanks in advance.

Jim Wright

Love the tips. Keep them coming.

Jimmy Fore

I have the mallet putter and I just love it. This putter has helped me get a better read for my putts and has cut strokes off my round. I am a 12hcp and started the year at 15hcp so its a win win. thanks for the tips emails they are great info pieces.
Thanks again. Greg Thomson>Waterville,MN

Greg Thomson

I got the blade a couple of weeks ago. Without a shadow of doubt it is the best putter I have had, and I’ve had many. I have your mallet and it is very good, but the blade is BETTER. I never thought I’d feel this way about a toe heavy putter as I have a pure straight back straight through stroke. For me, the weight is perfect. I’m taking less than 30 putts per round and I’m not giving myself a lot of good looks on my approach shots. When I do it almost always is a one-put. Six to 8 footers are almost ‘gimmees’

Kit Lefroy

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