Putting the Science into Your Putts   

Reading the break, the speed and the contours.

Golf Course Play

You can apply Probable Golf to the course with success right away, unlike swing changes.

Make Your 19th Hole the Best

You'll be able to boast about your new found knowledge.

Should I aim left, right, short or long? Less Guesswork. 

Let's say you are a 19 handicap and you set a goal of becoming a 9 handicap by the end of the season (a very lofty goal, but possible). You may have read about the Statistical Analysis of an Average Golfer. Well, for all levels of players, the most signficant way to lower scores is by improving the short game.

Compared to overall average golfer statistics, you need to improve by:

increasing GIR from 3 to 8 (267% increase)
increasing Iron Accuracy from 20 to 53% (265% increase)
reducing Putts per Round from 35.0 to 31.7 (9.5% decrease)
reducing Pitch/Chip/Sand from 15.6 to 9.8 (37% decrease)

Your ball striking and thus swing would need to improve immensely to reach your goal. Imagine how much less improvement is necessary with the short game to realize lower scores. I recommend you buying Dave Pelz's book to help out.

To improve your putting, you can improve in one or more of the following areas:
1. Stroke Mechanics: There are some fundamentals essential to good putting.
2. Feel: No matter how flawless your stroke, you must develop good kinesthetic feel to stroke putts the correct distance.
3. Reading Greens: With a sound stroke and great feel, you still need to be able to read how much a putt will break and how to adjust for speed.

The first two areas require athletic moves that can be improved upon through practice (some tips on those later). But, the third area, reading greens, can be improved upon by anyone. That's what I'll focus on teaching you now. By analyzing how a ball is affected by the slope of the green and by the frictional resistance of the grass, I have determined how the plumb bob distance (between shaft and hole) is related to the amount of break as well as how the green's slope affects speed . Most of the breaking occurs in the last few feet of roll. A typical 20 foot putt which breaks slightly because of a small slope would look like:

putting, golf club, putter, free golf instruction
The horizontal line in the picture is the imaginary line connecting you, the ball and the hole. The first point on the left of the picture is the starting position of the ball. The last point on the right of the picture is the ending point of the ball if there were no hole. Where the path of the ball intersects the imaginary line is the location of the hole. To maximize the number of putts holed, one wants the speed of the ball to be enough so that ball would move about 18 inches past the hole if the hole were not there (as per Dave Pelz's famous research).

Using physics & math, I have modelled how a putt breaks. I have developed a matrix that tells the golfer how much a putt breaks dependent upon the plumb read, the length of the putt and the speed of the putt.
For example here is part of my matrix for a medium speed putt:

Medium Speed Greens-- Stimpmeter 10 feet

PUTT LENGTH (FT) 3 6 10 15 20 30
Slope = 0.5 degree             
Slope = 1.0 degree 3.4 4.0 4.6 5.1 5.1 5.5
Slope = 2.0 degrees            

I've listed the values of my matrix of a medium sloped putt (1.0 degree of slope). These values are related to the plumb read which I explain along with the downloadable matrix. My full matrix includes slow paced and fast paced putts as well, which break different amounts but would have the same plumb read.

I provide a service to golfers who are interested in determining how to read putts. If you'd like to purchase this service, in which I explain in detail how to plumb and use my "putting matrix" to translate the read into how much break. I'll send you the method I have developed. I'll provide you with information applicable for putting on slow, medium or fast greens. If you know the stimpmeter reading of your greens, you can send that information along and I'll provide you with precise information applicable to putting your greens. To purchase, see below followed by the discussion of uphill and downhill putting.    

Learn how to read Green breaks and uphill/downhill adjustments  

I've used my golf ball computer model to calculate the measured break of any length putt given the plumb bob bread (or degree slope).   You can instantly download my report.

I've also calculated how much longer an uphill putt plays and a downhill putt plays, given the slope of the gree . 

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Green Reading Report


Uphill/Downhill Adjust


How much harder do you need to hit an uphill putt? How much softer do you need to hit a downhill putt? This page will answer those two questions. Similar to the spreadsheet I've created to model golf ball trajectories, I've also created one the models how a ball rolls over the surface of a green. Using this, I take into account the speed of the green (stimpmeter reading) and the slope of the green (in degrees that can be measured using a BreakMaster Green Reader.

Here are the results for a uphill putt on a 1.0 degree slope with a stimpmeter reading of 12 ft (quite fast).

Fast Speed Greens-- Stimpmeter 12 feet

slope distance (ft)  speed (ft/s) Normal (ft)
1.0 degree  5.0  4.50  6.7 
 1.0 degree 10 6.36  13.2
1.0 degree 15  7.80  19.7 

The 'Distance' column displays the physical distance to the hole. the 'Speed' column displays the ball speed required to travel that distance uphill. The 'Normal' column displays how far the ball would roll given the speed on a level green (0 degree slope). So, a 20 footer uphill would need to be struck with enough speed so that it would travel 26.2 feet on a level green. Thus, one would want to aim about 6 feet past the hole on this uphill putt.

For more details, visit Downhill/Uphill Putting

Apply This Science to Score Improvement

Using  accurate golf ball trajectory software, one can calculate how to adjust your club selection for changes in temperature, wind, altitude and elevation (uphill/downhill shots). See below. 


Warmer temperatures equate to longer carry distances. The difference between a cool morning and hot afternoon can be a full club.

You can provide me with yardages for each club in your bag. I'll input your values into a program I have written, and send you a template which will outline how different temperatures will change the real yardages for each club.


Temperature Distances


You can immediately download a copy "Reading Playing the Wind." I'll explain how you can easily measure the wind's speed (without using any kind of electronic device) and how much each mph of wind will affect your various club ranges.

You can provide me with yardages for each club in your bag. I'll input your values into a program I have written, and send you a template which will outline how different speed winds will change the real yardages for each club.




With increased altitude comes less dense air, meaning less friciton drag and longer carry distances.

You can provide me with yardages for each club in your bag. I'll input your values into a program I have written, and send you a template which will outline how altitudes will change the real yardages for each club..


Altitude Distances

Hitting Uphill or Downhill

You need to adjust your club selection when hitting uphill or downhill. But how much?

I've worked out how to estimate elevation change (uphill or downhill shots), and created a formula for how much shorter or longer a yardage plays. OR, send me the location of any golf hole along with your normal carry distances, and I'll work out how far the hole plays and what club to hit.     



Why Choose Probable Golf Services?

We have been providing golf advice online since 1999 and have been research the best in golf science since 1996. From Probable Golf, you can get advice on how to improve your game using math & science, how to best arrange your golf group foursomes to reduce repeat pairings, how to protect your home or business from errant golf balls, how to best interpret golf statistics.

Golf Academy

From kids to older adults, learn how to improve your score and the love of the game.

Simple Putting

Improvement in putting lower your score more than any other part of the game.

Swing Speed & Distance 

The most important factor in hitting it long is increasing your swing speed.

Hitting Uphill or Downhill

You need to adjust your club selection when hitting uphill or downhill. But how much?

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