Putting – the game within a game. It doesn’t matter how far you can drive it or how beautifully you strike your irons, if you can’t get the ball in the hole then it all counts for nothing. All that matters is the number on your scorecard and if you don’t practise your putting then you’re in trouble.

There’s an awful lot of guff written about putting but in the end it comes down to two things – how hard you hit it, and in what direction. Line and length.

If anything, getting the pace right can be the hardest part, because green speed can vary dramatically from course to course, and indeed from hole to hole.

But if you can read a green properly, then you will make life a lot easier on yourself. Here are five proven methods you might want to try – don’t do all of them, because you’ll never get round to actually making your stroke. But if you can find one that you like, and crucially which gives you some confidence, then our work here is done.

The Masters - Final Round

Topography

Remember this from your geography class? Basically, as you approach the green, take a good look at it. Whereabouts are you on the course? Does the land naturally slope one way, even if to the naked eye the green is flat? Is there water next to the green (one thing you can be sure of is that water doesn’t flow upwards so everything will feed in that direction). It always pays to take in all of the surroundings – nature is doing its best to give you some clues here.

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Richard Forrester

Richard Forrester

Richard Forrester is an experienced sports writer, having worked at SportsVibe and written for numerous sporting titles including Golfing World, Birmingham Mail and Stoke City's website.

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