Being able to read greens correctly is a very important part of improving your game and your score. There are many different factors that you need to consider before you hit the putt, however, unless you can control the pace of the ball as it leaves the putter face, the line or point you wish to start the ball on will be different each time! As a coach I want the player to be able to know the difference between a good putt and a bad one… Why? Simply, because if you don’t know the difference and the ball missed just on the left edge of the hole, did you pull it, hit it too soft or was it a misread?
The progressive size discs are self moulding to the green, lightweight, flexible and, importantly, made from a breathable material (so they won’t do any harm to the putting surface, even if accidentally left overnight). The 0.5mm thickness means that it reproduces the speed of the green on which it is placed!
What is the aim of the 1 degree progressive discs?
Each disc size represents a 1 degree error (right or left of the centre of the hole) for the appropriate distance. For example at 5ft, the size of the disc is only 50mm in diameter. The ball must touch the disc in order to be less than 1⁰ right or left of the intended start line. For 10ft, the size increases to 98mm in diameter… The aim of the drill is to improve your visualisation and green reading skills, in addition educating the golfer on how the pace of a golf ball rolling across a putting green influences the amount of break on the green. In my opinion, the majority of players overestimate the amount of break during the middle section of a putt, when the ball is rolling faster, and underestimate the amount of break as the ball slows down by the hole.
Instructions for Use: How do you see a ball breaking on a putting green?
- This drill is best used on a sloping green of between 1-3%. The faster the stimp, the harder the drill, so you have been warned!
- Place the 5ft disc, 5 feet away from your golf ball. Can you hole the putt (or hit the disc) from 5ft? There still may be a small amount of break in the putt even from 5ft. I wouldn’t recommend ever hitting the ball more than 3ft past the hole, however, entry speed (and therefore distance past) is a personal choice and something you must be comfortable with. Does entry speed change with uphill or downhill putts? Does entry speed change when facing a birdie, par or bogey putt? What about the effect of match play or stroke play – does your approach to ball entry speed differ? (A)
- Once comfortable at holing the 5ft putt, measure a further 5ft, (B) placing the 10ft disc (10ft from the ball) in such a position that WITHOUT moving the 5ft disc, the ball will travel through both discs. How many goes does it take you to place the 10ft disc in the correct location? (C)
- Moving on to the 15ft, 20ft, 25ft, 30ft, 35ft and 40ft discs, build them up incrementally, measuring a further 5ft each time so all the discs represent a 1 degree error at their respective distances. You must place them on the green in such a way that the ball will travel directly over each one! (D)
- Remember you are NOT allowed to move the 5ft disc! As the distance increases, so does the ball speed, so you may need to adjust the closer discs to account for this. (E)
- Reading a green or putt is visualizing (or making an educated guess), the line or path the ball will follow once it leaves the putter and rolls across the green? How close is your visualisation to what actually happens on the green? Time to find out!
- Once you are out at 40ft, 1 degree equals a 426mm diameter disc. If the ball stops or touches this disc from such a distance, it is a fantastic putt. The chances of holing a putt are very low from 40ft. In fact on the PGA Tour, outside of 25ft you have more 3-putts than birdies…
- Pace control is vital in order to choose the correct start line.
- The last thing to try, once you have made it all the way out to 40ft, is to remove all the discs apart from the 5ft and 40ft disc. How does the putt look now? Any different? If so, why is it different?