Although a lot of our day at Golftini is spent in the office, we are a group of avid golfers. As a former green grass professional, among other office responsibilities, making sure that the staff’s game stays sharp for afternoon trips to the course falls onto my plate. Our weekly tips series which features tips from myself (The Pro) as well as the Designer, Beginner and Member will help you to better your game from all different aspects, so let’s get to it.
If you haven’t already noticed, putts make up the majority of your shots during a round. While we may never drive the ball like our favorite tour pros, each one of us has the ability to putt like the men and women we see on tv each week. Today we will discuss green reading.
Playing for over 15 years now I sometimes take for granted my ability to read a green. While I do not always get the read perfect, generally I have an idea of which way a putt will break. While we would love to make every putt we take, our focus will start out with getting the ball close to the hole and what better way than aiming in the right direction.
To start off I want you to close your eyes and imagine a round flat object that is tilted to one side. Something that resembles a makeup mirror. In the image above you should be able to tell that the mirror is leaning to one side. Now imagine if you dripped water on the center of the mirror. Which direction would it run? If you said to the bottom right corner, you are on your way to being a great green reader. The path this water drip takes to exit the mirror is known as the fall line. If you can find this line you can read any putt!
In the image above you will see an imaginary putting green. Ball #6 in this picture is directly below the hole (putting straight up the hill). The red line represents the fall line. I want you to notice that every putt on that circle curves towards the line of ball #6. Balls 1,5,7,11 curve the least because they are just off of the fall line. Balls 3 and 9 (the orange lines) are perpendicular to the fall line and thus break the most.
So now what do we do? Next time you go out to practice I want you to use anything you can to figure out where “ball #6” would be for each hole on the practice green. Imagine a circle around the hole and figure out where the water would flow if you poured out a bucket right on top of the hole. If it is not obvious, ask a friend or your local professional for help. When you think you found the spot, drop a ball and putt it to the hole. If it is straight, congratulations, you probably got it right! If it is not straight, try again. Once you become a pro at finding “ball #6” you are well on your way to being a great green reader! Oh yeah and don’t forget to practice in style in your Golftini!
Joe Levatino is Golftini's Business Manager since joining the company in January of 2017. A former green grass golf professional in the PGA's New Jersey Section he continues to work towards his PGA membership. Taking up the game at the age of 19, he quickly became an avid golfer with a passion for both playing and teaching. Joe and Susan (Golftini's Owner & Designer) work together on their games before work and brainstorm about ways to improve the business and their swings. Joe's monthly tip from the pro can be found here.