Putt With Confidence: How to Read a Golf Green

There really isn't another aspect of any sport quite like putting in golf. The ultimate game within a game, putting can make or break how well you score.

It doesn't matter if you are striping the ball off the tee and dominating on your iron shots if your putts are falling short. The irony of golf is that every course is miles long, but your entire round could come down to a putt that is just a few feet.

But if you can read a green, your putting prowess could overshadow other faults and really elevate your game. So what are the key tips to improving your putting and sinking more birdies?

Continue reading for the most important putting strategies every golfer should know.

How to Read a Green

The best way to succeed as a putter is to fine-tune your pre-putt routines. That includes reading the green before putting. Try to get as many angles and views as possible of your upcoming putt.

Normally the best view to read your putt will be from standing behind it. Use your stance and your feet to line up correctly. Try to imagine an invisible line from your ball to the hole.

Try not to overthink a putt, and stick to your common routine. This can help you stay in a rhythm throughout your round.

Always have a mark available if you don't end up making your putt. Some golf tees come with a marker designed right on the tee. 

Speed Is More Crucial Than Accuracy

With all of the tips and tricks involved with reading greens, you might think accuracy on your line is the most important aspect of putting. Over the long haul, the speed and pace of your stroke are what will make or break your putting success.

Even if you have a putt lined up perfectly, if your speed and distance control is off-kilter, then it is very unlikely you will sink the putt. However, if you always have the correct length and pace to your putts, it will put much less strain on your game.

Know the Situation

Every golfer wants to sink as many putts as possible, but sometimes the situation calls for patience and caution rather than an aggressive line. If you have a putt less than 20 feet with a little-to-no break, then by all means, take an aggressive approach.

But often, a golfer should be playing for a two-putt and a par. Many greens are large and if your shot ended up on the other side away from the pin, a birdie isn't likely. Or you might be standing over a putt with a huge break to the left or right.

It's very important to not give any strokes back on the green, even if it might be tempting to go all out for a birdie every time. If you are over-aggressive, you could leave your second putt (often for par) much further away than it should have been.

Most courses have greens that are unpredictable and designed to trick you into making a mistake.

Golf: The Ultimate Game 

Learning how to putt is a process, and like the rest of your game, could take years to perfect. But when you learn how to effectively read a green, it could transform your game.

Check out our blog for more articles on tips for your golf game and the best equipment to play with.