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   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). In my earlier newsletters on Statistical Analysis of an Average Golfer, for all levels of players, the most signficant way to lower scores is by improving the short game. Recall that:

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.

As some objectives to achieve this goal, I would highly recommend the 19 handicap putting some things in place to improve the short game such as:

arranging some lessons from a local professional
setting aside an hour each second day to work on the short game
purchasing some books on the short game to help out with practice
utilizing more of my golf site and tips to improve
it might be that the short game is the only focus of improvement

For improvement to take place, of course, one needs to set aside ample time to practice and play. The 19 handicap won't improve much if all he/she does is play a round of golf 3 times each week. When top professionals make significant changes to their games, they often play less and practice more. It's difficult to work on improvement of various aspects of the game on the course because the sole goal there is score.

This section of the site is about improving your putting, which is as outlined above the most effective way of lowering your score. Even if you're a scratch player shooting par, almost half of your strokes are putts.

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.

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. 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 the 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).
Note that the ball ends up farthest from the imaginary line about 7/12 of the way to the hole (about 11.5 ft for a 20 ft putt). I'll refer to this position of a putt as the transition point.  It then crosses the imaginary line (at the hole) in the remaining 5/12 of the way to the hole (about 8.3 ft). Thus most of the break occurs in the last half of the distance (or 10 ft for a 20 ft putt).

A typical 20 foot putt which breaks a lot because of a large slope would look like:

free putting lesson, golf ball, plumb bob, read putts

In this case, the putt breaks a lot more. In fact, there is even a larger percentage of break in the last half of the distance traveled. The transition point is about 8/12 of the way to the hole (or about 13.3 ft for a 20 ft putt). I have found that the transition point depends on the slope of the green, the speed of the green and the length of the putt. Thus if a putt plumb bobs 4 inches left of the hole, the amount of break and thus the amount one should aim left or the hole isn't the same for every putt. A long putt on a fast, high sloped green would break more than a shorter putt on a slow, low sloped green.

     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.

You can order my plumbing procedure and matrix here Order for $15.99 or you can purchase the putting procedure, reading and playing the wind & reading and playing elevation changes for $29.99 by clicking here Order.

Go to my order page to see all of the products offered.

Read testimonials from my past customers.

     For example here is part of my matrix for a medium speed putt:

Medium Greens – Stimp meter reading = 10 feet

Putt Length
3 ft
6 ft
10 ft
15 ft
20 ft
30 ft
50 ft
Low = 0.5 degree
Med = 1.0 degree
High = 2.0 degree

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. Note that for a long, 50 ft putt, the break is much greater relative to the read than a short, 6 ft putt.

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, click the Order Services option.

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.

Keep your putting statistics. Get a free software program which will track a calculate your real putting ability. Not just how many putts you make per round, but what percentage of various length putts you make and how many strokes it takes from different distances. You can then compare yourself to the pros and other handicap groups.
Just make a purchase from my site and I'll throw the program in for FREE.

Plumb Bob & Reading Putts

     This page deals how to read a putt given the slope of the green and using a plumb bob. Reading putts for most golfers is real guess work. Most golfers determine the amount of break of a putt from past experience. Put the average golfer on a green he/she has never played before, and the probability of the golfer reading the putt correctly would be very low.

     Most putts are under-read by golfers, even the professionals. I have developed a method to read putts using a plumb bob. Many would argue that plumb bobbing can only tell you which way a putt breaks, but not the amount. I was one of those people. But after analyzing the physics and mathematics of a breaking putt, I have determined a fairly simple procedure of taking what is learned from plumb-bobbing, and calculating the amount of break, which depends on the speed of the green and the length of the putt.

See and order all or my products at my golf product order page.


     First of all, how does one plumb bob. It's actually and very simple procedure but is difficult to be accurate if you're not careful.
stand behind the ball so the ball is between you and the hole
ensure that the hole, the ball and you are on an imaginary, straight line.
to ensure all are on a straight line, you should stand about 10 feet behind the ball (closer will make it difficult to estimate whether you are on a straight line)
holding your putter loosely between two fingers, raise it onto the imaginary line so that the bottom of the putter's shaft blocks or partially blocks out the ball from your sight.
move the putter so that either side of the shaft dissects the ball into two (thus you will see one half of the ball).
look upwards at the top of the shaft and estimate how far the same side of the shaft is from the edge of the hole; this distance is related to how far you should aim your putt on this side of the hole
what most do not know, is how this distance is related to how much the putt breaks; most know that it does not equal the amount that the putt breaks.

as an example, let's say that the upper shaft is aligned 2 inches left of the left edge of the hole. Since the hole is about 4 inches in diameter (thus the edge of the hole is 2 inches from the hole's center) the shaft is about 2 + 2 = 4 inches from the middle of the hole. When plumb bobbing, this does not mean that the putt breaks 4 inches. It actually breaks more.


The slope of the green is the single biggest factor in how much your putt will break on the way to the hole, but the fact is:   most golfers have a hard time reading break.

The number one tool chosen by more and more Tour Pros and Caddies to measure greens is the BreakMaster Digital Green Reader.

Learn More -- Click Here

Quantity Inc. (Ohio, USA) is an authorized retailer for goods and services provided by Probable Golf Instruction.


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