In an earlier piece, we discussed the fall line of a putt, which indicates the true downward direction of the slope of the green. In other words, it is the exact, straight line direction water would flow down the slope of a putt.
Training your eye to find this point in your putts is crucial to success on the greens. Combining an eye for reading putts with a good tempo in the putting strokes will have you taking money off your buddies.
We've got a few great drills for you to hone your craft.
Go to the practice green and pick five different hole locations (or angles). At each location, find what you believe to be the straight-in slope from inside 6 feet. Stroke the putt and see if you make it, as well if your read was right. If the ball went in, give yourself a point. If you score four points, you win the game.
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Another simple drill is to place 10 balls around a hole at about 6-10 feet away in the shape of a clock or a circle. The first step is to find the 12 and 6 o'clock fall lines and place a ball in each spot. Space out the rest of your balls in the shape of the check at similar distances. As you putt, notice the difference in the amount of break each putt. The closer to the 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock fall line, the straighter the putt. As you draw closer to the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock portions of the circle, there will be more break.
Try this game with someone in your foursome before the next round:
- 2 points for any putt made around the circle
- -1 point if you miss the putt short and two putt
- 0 points for a putt missed passed the hole and a two putt
- -2 point for a three putt
The first player to 10 points wins...and maybe gets a free drink before the round.
Seth Hill is a contributor at Golf News Net and an instructor at Hozl, a golf instruction company based in Austin, TX that offers a personal swing coach at an affordable price.