How You Can Read Impossible Greens and Sink More Putts

If you’ve been watching any golf on TV lately, you’ve seen the pros lining up their putts using their fingers. What’s that about?

My putting has been in the pits lately. Whatever I’ve been doing to aim the ball? — It hasn’t been working. I study the hole from both sides and make a “best guess” at which way the ball will fall. More often than not the ball sails past the hole and veers off in the wrong direction. Or it comes up short or goes too long. If there’s a better way to putt I need to learn it!

Whatever it was those pros on TV were doing with their fingers must be a better way, because they are making a lot of putts! I started doing a bit of research and discovered the AimPoint Golf method. Luckily, Jane Frost, a certified instructor here on Cape Cod was holding an AimPointGolf class so I signed up.

What is the AimPointGolf method?

It’s all about the basic physics of putting. You use your feet to feel the slope and your fingers to determine the break and aim point. Factor in the speed of the greens and you’re golden.

AimPoint founder, Mark Sweeney introduces the method in this short video.

I’ve only taking one lesson in AimPoint and I know I need to do a lot more practice before using it effectively. Here’s my take on the process as I understand it.

  1. Before you begin a round of golf, it’s important to make a few putts on the putting practice area. You need to have a feel for the speed of the greens on the course you are about to play. Speeds change every day with the weather, time of day, etc. so it’s important to discover the speed.
  2. Knowing the speed of the greens, you use your feet and body to determine the percentage of the slope on the green you are playing. Most greens have a slope 0% – 4%
  3. Once you have your best guess for the slope percentage, you use your dominant eye and a combination of your fingers set against the image of the hole in front of you to discover the aim point. Once you know the correct point at which to aim your putt, combined with what you know to be the speed of the greens and your ball’s distance from the cup- you putt the ball!
  4. Nine times out of ten the ball goes right into the cup.

That’s the basic outline of the process. It’s really very simple.

But it does takes practice to learn. More often than not, the aim point is much higher than I would think it would be. I have to learn to believe what my fingers are telling me. It take confidence in the process to let go of the old method of going with my “gut” or using my “best guess” of which way the ball will fall.

LevelI bought a small Digi-Pas Level online that reads the slope as a percentage and am testing my ability to feel the slope of the greens. Still working on that. As I get better I’ll post some of my results.

The best way to learn the method is to take a class from a certified AimPoint instructor. Click here to find a certified instructor in your area.

Have you tried AimPoint Express? What’s been your experience? Add your comments in the space below.

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