Golf Putting Strategy: Read The Green From the Fairway For Fewer Three-Putts

Symptom:  You spend a lot of time figuring out the break and line on the green, only to miss by several feet, turning an easy two putt into a knee-knocking potential three-putt.  "How did I miss that break?" you mutter to yourself while shaking your head and marking your ball instead of tapping it in...

Description:  Don't wait until you are on the putting green to read the green; try to read the green from far away, as you walk up the fairway or drive up the cart path towards the green. 

Why it works:  Often it's much easier to see the overall slope or tendency of a green from a distance.  From a distance you can often see broad patterns that are tough to discern when you are actually on the green.  This is especially true when the entire green feeds one direction or another without much undulation, such as to the water, or away from a mountain, or back-to-front, etc.

Check out this flyover tour of Augusta National Golf Club, and pay particular attention to the greens.  Granted, you may never play this course, or take a helicopter tour of the layout, but the point is that you can see what the green is doing from 150 yards away.  Have a look:


You should also take the opportunity to read everybody's putts from a distance, to give you more insight into your own putt.  So don't daydream in the cart as you drive to the green, study the green instead! 

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