Applying the Golf Green SpeedReader

Use the Golf Green SpeedReader to make accurate appraisals of any or all of these golf green variables. Note the differences and the amount of change in speed and break of each variable. Learn the differences and add this new knowledge to your bag of weapons to use next time you attack the greens!

Assess the Green

Always walk around the entire green to view every angle of the putt. Subtle slope variances can only be noticed this way. Crouch down behind your ball and cup your hands to shade your eyes to view the putt. This gives you a clearer picture of your putt by eliminating a wide view of the green.


Plumb-bobbing is used to see subtle slope variations and to assess the break of your putt. Stand about 10' behind the ball in line with the hole. You use your master eye to see the slope. Find your master eye by extending your forefinger at arms length and focus on a background point in line to your forefinger. Alternate looking at the point with each eye. The eye with your finger closest to the background point is your master eye.

1. Stand behind and directly in line with the ball and hole.
2. Lightly hold putter at arms length opposite your master eye.
3. Turn the toe of the clubhead towards or away from you.
4. Line up the center of the ball with the lower part of the shaft.
5. Move your master eye up the shaft until level with the hole.
6. If the hole is to the left or right of the shaft, there is a slope in that direction.

Green Speed

To figure out how much a putt will break, you must know the green speed. Use the Golf Green SpeedReader to tell you the speed. The speed of the putt will affect its line. Slower putts react more to slopes, while faster putts break less. Poorly judged speed, rather than line, is the cause of most three-putts. This is what makes the Golf Green SpeedReader so valuable. more tips


You can track how much the variables changing green speeds affect the greens with the Golf Green SpeedReader. Dew, rain, recently watered greens, or any moisture can significantly slow the green speed. How much slower depends on the amount of moisture. Moisture on the green will also affect the break of a putt. More moisture will straighten out the break of a putt as the ball slides (as opposed to roll) more along the wet surface. Less break and slower speeds are the rules for moisture.

1. Shadows- can prevent some parts from drying faster than other areas
2. Time of day- earlier usually means slower greens due to dew
3. Weather- Did it rain yesterday? If so, expect slower greens.
4. Cloud cover- direct hot sun can dry out greens very quickly, making them faster
5. Irrigation- troughs on the green can hold water longer than the top of slopes

Reading the Grain

The grain is the direction the grass grows. Reading the grain on a green with a strong grain can be just as important as reading the slope. Mild climates are not as affected because the grain grows straight up. Warmer climates have a stronger grain. A strong grain can be recognized by having a dull and dark apperance on one side and a shiny and light one on the other. The shiny and light side means you are putting with the grain; the ball will travel faster. The dull and dark side is against the grain; the ball will travel slower. A great way to see the effects of grain direction is to measure a green with the Golf Green SpeedReader in opposite directions. The results may surprise you!

1. "Stripes" on the green from mowing patters have similar effects to natural grain
2. The ball will be reflected at a small angle where different grains or "stripes" meet
3. Uphill putts against the grain- putt will be extra slow
4. Downhill putts against the grain- slow grain may actually cancel out the slope effects
5. Line of your putt perpendicular to grain- grain has a sideslope effect
     a. left-to-right putt: grain flows in same direction; the break will be larger
     b. left-to-right putt: grain flows in opposite direction; the break will almost cancel out

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