Josh’s Tips & Tricks: Green Reading

Golf | 07 June, 2022


Hello golfers. Welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. This week we are back onto putting because it can cost and save you lots of shots during a round. We are in June now and the season is pretty much in full flow. We have had all winter to work on our swings so now we have to concentrate on scoring. Holing putts and two putting keeps momentum and those 3 putts (or worse) can really upset your rhythm during the round. We are going to take a closer look at green reading and trusting your read as you stand over the putt.

Green Reading

Firstly take a look at the following video and then I will explain each component. Its really not that difficult to understand but it is a lot more difficult to put into practice.

Take in the surroundings

The first thing to do when approaching a putt is to take in the surroundings. Look at the area between your ball and the hole. Looking at it from different angles can give a different perspective and therefore potentially more information. If you only look from behind the hole it’s harder to judge any uphill or downhill slopes. You can already be looking at this as you’re approaching the green to save time. It takes a matter of seconds to get a decent read of the green and can save you lots of shots over a round.


When you have looked at the slopes and decided on a start line the next thing to do is visualise the putt. In the video I have laid out some gates for the ball to travel through. This putt is a left to right putt and is slightly downhill. This means that the line on my ball is aimed a few feet outside the left of the hole. I am then trying to hit a perfectly straight putt along that line, allowing gravity to do the rest. The ball can go in the hole at slightly different line and speed combinations. If the ball is travelling faster it will not take as much break and vice versa. The ball is not always going to go in the centre of the front of the hole so a putt like this will be entering the hole from the left side.

When I’m looking towards the hole I’m imagining the line I want the ball to travel on. I personally see it as a faint white like, like the ball travelling in slow motion, but others see it differently. Some people imagine their eyes are like lasers and are burning a line in the green that they want the ball to travel on.

Trust the Start Line

When stood over the putt about to hit, doubt in any way must be eliminated. Most bad putts come from a lack of trust either in the start line or stroke. Relax the hands and let the putter move freely along the desired start line. Try not to consciously redirect the putter towards the hole and “steer it”. Lots of people miss putts on the low side because the putter has redirected towards the hole and the start line wasn’t trusted. This takes lots of practice and commitment. If you have a putting mirror, use it. If you don’t put a ball marker or gate with tees a few feet towards the hole on the desired start line. Try to see the ball roll end over end and then how gravity takes over as the ball loses pace.


Putting is a game within a game. In some rounds of golf I hear about, players have more putts than they hit shots. Improving putting confidence is almost a sure way to lower scores. Our putting green here at Windmill is very fast so can be slightly deceiving however you can practice your green reading on the slopes. Just make sure when you get to a golf course you have a putt for at least 5 minutes to get used to that pace. Always read the green from at least one if not two angles. Try to imagine a line that the ball travels on and trust starting the ball along that line. Let the putter move freely and don’t try to steer the ball towards the hole.

If you struggle with your putting I absolutely love giving lessons on this part of the game. If you would like to book a lesson on putting or any other part of your game then CLICK HERE.

See you soon,