HOW TO GET A more ACCURATE view ON THOSE tricky-to-read PUTTS
At many traditional British parkland golf courses, you’ll face a lot of putts that are difficult to read. The breaks are often very subtle and seemingly imperceptible to the human eye. How many times have you looked at a putt from several angles and still struggled to figure out which way it was going to move? The problem with reading putts is that your eyes take in a lot of supplementary information that can affect your decision-making. A row of trees or a distant hedgerow, water features and even the shaping of the surrounds of the green can trick your eyes into seeing slopes that don’t exist. You’ve probably seen Tour pros crouching down to read putts with their hands cupped around their face and over the top of their visor (right). What they’re doing is ‘zoning’ in on the putt, blocking out everything beyond the hole from their field of vision. That way, they have a much clearer view of the true slope and break. Try it for yourself and see how blocking out external distractions can help you better visualize the break, too.
– Stuart Dowsett, Head Pro at Sundridge Park
GC in Kent and coach to several Tour players.