A Good Putting Drill for Green Reading

    It’s Tessa Teachman here again with one of my favorite golf putting drills for helping you learn how to read a green.

    Breadcrumbs did not help Hansel and Gretel, but they can help you read your putts better.

    Green reading can be a scary topic, but with the right putting tips, you don’t have to worry about birds eating your trail. Before we start laying a trail, here is how we will determine how to read the break of your putt.

    How Drills for Putting Can Help You Read Greens

    Green reading can begin before you reach the green’s surface. As you approach the green, take notice of the contours and hills surrounding the green. Locate the low point and use this in your assessment of the line.

    Now, sometimes, much like the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, green architecture can play tricks on us. Retaining walls and hills are built up to trick the eye into seeing break. 

    If in doubt, look to where the closest drain is to the hole. This will indicate the low point of the area. If water will run off there, so will your golf ball.

    Some players have trained to use their feet as a resource when green reading as well. Feeling the pressure changes in your feet as you walk your line can indicate how a putt will break as well. If you are standing facing the hole and feel more pressure on your left foot, this is a clue that your putt will break right to left. The more pressure you feel in one direction, the more break you will need to play.

    Some of the best putting drills for green reading will help you assess these breaks and determine the best way to handle them.

    Putting Tips for Practicing Green Reading

    Using these methods to read greens, here is one good putting drill to help you practice your reads more efficiently; I call it the breadcrumbs drill. Use your favorite putting accessories to help you set up your space on the green. 

    1.  Try to determine where the ball will fall

    For this putting drill, pick a putt with some break. As you use your method of choice to read the putt, locate where you think the ball will fall in the hole. Place a flat ball marker down. Work your way back to your ball placing marks along the intended break line of your putt.

    1.  Test your theory

    Hit the putt and see if your break matches the actual break based on correct speed and start line. If you didn’t guess correctly, try to see what you originally missed. If you did locate where the ball would fall, reflect on how you determined that.

    1.  Practice several putts

    Attempt different length putts and amounts of breaks to test your green reading. Assuming your eye position is in the right place and you are hitting your putt the proper speed and on the correct start line with proper alignment, if you consistently miss below the hole, you are under-reading your putts; if the ball rolls over the high side of the cup, you are overreading the line. 

    The breadcrumbs hold you accountable to the line you are picking and you can learn your tendencies from there.

    This is a good putting drill to help you consistently read your putts better, make more putts and live happily ever after.  

    Tessa Teachman
    Tessa Teachman is a PGA Class A member and professional golfer. After four years on the Louisiana State University's golf team, she competed worldwide on the Symetra Tour, Ladies European Tour, Australian Tour and Canadian Tour. You may also recognize her from Golf Channel's Big Break Myrtle Beach. She is currently the 1st Assistant Golf Professional at the Quarry Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

    Similar Articles