Observe the Green
I can't tell you how many times I have walked onto the green looking at my ball and not noticing the general contour of the green. All golfers should notice the green, contour, and other factors that will affect the putt. This includes grass height, heavy or light morning dew, both of which are very significant when analyzing putt speed.
The greens will be faster later in the day as moisture evaporates. Seasoned players know that recently mowed greens can have a significant impact on the speed needed to reach the hole. Shaved greens are very "quick," while "fuzzy" greens will leave the ball short if the slower roll is not taken into account.
Read the Second HalfMost strokes are added to the score on the green, but many golfers do not spend enough time taking all the green's information into account before the putt. I admit not taking enough time to truly read the green in the past, but I am getting better at gathering more information to sink the putt. Golfers should always read the second half of the putt from the opposite side of the hole and select a target point on the green that once you reach that point, gravity will pull the ball toward the hole. How many times have you said,"That putt broke in the opposite direction I read?" You would have noticed that "other" subtle break if you studied the green from the other side of the hole.
Rock and Hold
Golf instructors always say as you line up your putt, remember to rock your shoulders. This simply means that by just moving your shoulders the path of your putter will stay on line longer. The slightest movement of hands, head or any other body part will affect the putt's accuracy.
Rocking the shoulders minimizes the moving parts, and the fewer parts moving will help ensure a more controlled roll. Another suggestion is to hold the the putter still after striking the ball and following through. Holding the putter in place for just a few seconds will ensure the ball was hit straight and that last minute putter head movement did not occur.
The slightest putter head movement can cause the ball to roll off line. At times I would twist my putter head ever so slightly but the twist would spin the ball enough to miss the putt. Reading a green and executing the perfect putt can be a challenge. However, a little more observation and routine technique will sink more putts! Good luck!!
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