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Top 10 Green Reading Myths Exposed

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(By Peter Brown, Level 2 AimPoint Instructor)

How do you read greens?

Do you have a specific methodology that you follow? Is that methodology sound, or do you find your putting relies a lot on hit and hope? Are your reads shaky? Don’t worry. You are not alone.

One of the reasons that golfers struggle so much on the green is that there is a whole bunch of bad information out there about how a putt will behave on the green.

Regrettably, the myths of green reading are many.

GreenReadingMyths1

This list was compiled recently with the help of several top instructors (PGA and LPGA), a former PGA tour player, a golf course architect, and college coaches. Each responded with their favorite myth or misconception. Each was then ranked in order of mentions.

You may have seen or heard of these methods but, how valid are they?

10. Just feel it in

A golfer just looks at the ball and the cup and immediately “knows” how to aim the putt and get it in the hole.

GreenReadingMyths3

I hear all the time that, "I'm a feel putter." What does that really mean? Do you just stare at the hole until a Zen-like state of clarity shows you the way? Are you hallucinating the green line and disconnecting from your body as you swing the club?

Instructors felt that many feel putters actually manipulate the putter in order to get the ball on their intended line. Look at it this way, if you are a true feel putter, why do you spend all that time on the practice green grooving the perfect stroke? I think that saying that you are a “feel putter” actually means that you have no real system for putting and that each putt is a guess about line and speed.

Some putts do go in, validating your feel. When a putt doesn’t go in, you just felt it wrong, as opposed to hitting it on a poor line with awful pace.

 

9. Plumb bob

Your putter is now an engineers leveling device. You hold it vertical, aligning it with the hole and the green, and this tells you the amount and direction of break.

Just type it in to YouTube and hundreds of different variations come up. It seems that the bottom line is that dangling your putter only gives you a small amount of info and potentially misses a lot more than it provides. Think about the simple physics of this technique. First, is your putter really balanced to start with? Will the unbalanced weight of the putter head take all of your reads left?

Even if your putter is perfectly balanced, your “bob” is only potentially accurate for break on the spot you are standing on. Once the ball leaves that spot, the how can the read pick up the breaks between you and the hole? Maybe you need multiple “bobs” along the path, and some calculus to engineer the reads all together.

 

8. Seeing the putt from all sides

Golfers will read the putt from all directions, looking above, below, and to the sides of the line to see where the putt will break.

Golfers spend lots of time walking around the hole looking for a breakpoint the ball may never cross. Imagine driving through Brooklyn, just to figure out the driving directions through Manhattan.

Did your buddy just put out a cigar on the other side of the green? Do you need to move that ash before you make your read?

Your ball is only going to roll over part of the green on it’s way to the hole. You don’t need to look at the putt from every angle. Above, below, and from a side? I’m actually OK with these looks, but you really don’t need more. I can only imagine the time it takes to read from all directions. Your buddies will be putting you on the clock, perhaps while humming the Final Jeopardy music as well.

 

7. Born with "IT"

Some golfers are just born with a natural ability to read greens. They don’t practice, or have a specific system, they are just physically and mentally more adept from birth.

kidsputting

Could it really be that the ability to read the greens was given to you at birth and can't be learned?

This means that most of us can't read putts as well as those born with the gift; we missed out on the green reading gene. Maybe we will be more genetically suited to bowling or darts. According to several studies including the book “The Talent Code” any skill can be learned if practiced effectively.

This myth sounds to me like it originated with a crappy putter who was making excuses. “I don’t putt as well as she does, but I wasn’t born with ‘it’ like she was.”

 

6. Last 5 feet of the putt is by far the most important.

You only need to really read the last five feet of a putt because that’s where the ball is going the slowest, and breaking the most.

Like a lot of these myths, this one is based on sound physics...coupled with insanity. The ball will break more as it nears the cup and slows, but the last time I checked, my ball has to roll over the entire distance of the putt to make it to the hole. It’s not like it hovers, then lands at the five foot point.

What about this scenario? You have a twenty-foot putt with two bowls between you and the hole. How can reading only the last five feet possibly be a good plan? Do you forget about the break at fifteen feet and the break at ten feet? If you send that ball off in the wrong direction on the first break, how will it possibly be on line at five feet? You need to read the whole putt.

 

5. Grain

Grain refers to the direction of the growing grass. The “grain read” takes into account the direction the ball will go as it interacts with the turf. The assumption is that grain always grows in the direction of the setting sun.

Those who rely heavily on grain for reads are thinking that the direction of the grass impacts putt direction more than gravity. Top agronomists agree that for the most part grass grows with direction of slope, not with the setting sun. So when putting on surfaces, yes grain will affect speed, but not direction. If you putt at the wrong speed, that can impact the break the ball takes, but the reality is you got the pace wrong.

Up grain, or down grain really is another way to say up hill or down hill. It’s gravity, not grass.

 

4. Bodies of water

Balls will always roll toward large bodies of water, because those large bodies of water are always downhill.

Running Y Ranch 5

Do lakes, creeks, and oceans cause ball to break towards them? Maybe, but only if the body of water is actually downhill from your ball’s position.

Our golf course architect laughed at this one and his statement was "we design greens to move water off the surface of the green, but not always in the direction of the closest body of water." He went on to state that they sometimes adjust the putting surface away from a close by body because it may be better for play. Our balls do not know where water is, although they always do seem to find it when we play.

 

3. Apex putting

Aim the ball at the highest point that the ball will roll across, and then it will roll down hill toward the hole.

 

Apex is reading the putt by aiming at the highest point the ball will roll across. If we use apex it will always be too low or hit too hard. Our former PGA tour player commented that if we hit it on this line we forget about the initial break. Forgetting about any break that the ball will roll across does not seem like a formula for accuracy.

As I said before, your ball must roll across all of the grass to reach the hole, unless, of course, you chip it while on the green, but only Tiger can get away with that.

 

2. Spider Man or Yoga reading

Getting lower to the ground makes it easier to see the line of the putt.

SpiderRead

Does it make sense to read a putt from ball height? We think that seeing is believing, but we know our eyes can also fool us. Go Google Optical Illusion. We know from experience that how we look at a putt changes how we see the putt. That’s a simple way of saying that the slope looks different from different perspectives.

Degree of perceived break changes as the distance from our eye changes. What this means is that what you see at a belly-low angle is not what you are going to see when you stand up again. If you putt from Spiderman position, this read may actually work for you. However, if you stand to putt, you should probably also stand to read. Plus, most golfers are too old, and too stiff for 30-40 Camilo-esque reads per round?

 

1.  Landmark Pull

All putts will break in the same direction toward a given, likely famous landmark.

PebbleOcean

The Pacific Ocean, Molokai, Indio, Phoenix, or Lake Merced are all interesting golf course landmarks, but THEY DON’T PULL THE BALL TOWARD THEM!

Some of these landmarks may be in the direction of break but most times it's just a coincidence.  There might be an overall direction toward these landmarks in the course design, but designers again are trying to move water off greens, not trying to flood landmarks. I suppose that if you are totally lost on a read, remembering that on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, all putts break toward Molokai at least gives you something to help your confidence.

Yes, all putts there do break toward Molokai, except for the ones that don’t.

 

So what can you do to read putts correctly?

green line

First of all, stop listening to the myths. Just because someone says something on TV, it doesn’t make it true. Some of the voices that we hear on TV each week, while entertaining, propagate these myths to unsuspecting golfers. They don’t do it on purpose. The commentators are just passing along what they have heard over the years. If everyone says something, that makes it true, right?

For the full golf swing, I think that we all agree that the flight of a golf ball is all based upon the physics of the swing and the geometries of impact. Though we will claim that trees are magnetic, the reason that your ball went screaming into the pines was 100% math and 0% myth.

When you putt, you are on the same planet that you played your other shots on, and thus that putt must obey the same physical laws. Don’t worry though, at its core, the physics are simple. Just remember this simple rule: balls roll down hills, not up them.

But how will you know how far they will roll and break? You need a putting system based upon solid science and not hearsay/folklore. This is where AimPoint comes in. During a class the instructor will teach you how to gauge break, based upon the speed of the green and the slope of the putt. Do you need to know calculus? Nope, the math is simple and fast even though the reads are based upon sound science and not a bunch of local legends.

You actually probably already know about AimPoint, even if you are not familiar with the name. Have you watched golf on TV? Did you see the green line for putt direction? That was AimPoint. AimPoint is the source of the technology that enabled The Golf Channel to draw the green (or blue) line. Determining the line took gravity and friction into account, not those myths we talked about earlier. Personally, I enjoyed watching the balls follow the line into the cup, or lose the line and miss.

 

 

The great thing about the current AimPoint System is that it is very easy to learn. There is even a new AimPoint Express Read that is extremely simple to learn, and yet also extremely effective on the course. Don’t worry that AimPoint is too complicated. How complicated is your reading system if you need to take all of those ten misconceptions into account with each read?

If you want a better way to read greens and ignore the myths from above, visit your local Aimpoint golf instructor. The AimPoint Instructor will help you #makeeverything or at least give you more putting confidence, knowing that your read is based upon physics, and not your buddy’s off-hand comment.

It’s all about the science baby!

About Peter Brown

As an avid golfer looking to improve his game, Peter took an AimPoint clinic and it changed his whole outlook on green reading. Peter’s background in science allowed him to see the irrefutable physics behind the AimPoint system. Peter was so impressed by the system that he trained to become a Certified AimPoint Instructor and worked with AimPoint Inventor Mark Sweeney to revise and refine the green reading system that is taught today.

Since becoming an instructor Peter has worked with several tom amateurs, average Joes, and PGA Tour hopefuls including Issac Sanchez, winner of Big Break NFL, and Collegiate All-American, John Catlin.

For more information about AimPoint click HERE
Follow Peter Brown on Twitter HERE

Comments

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Blake May 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

When some one searches for his necessary thing, therefore he/she needs
to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

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Bill Gabbert March 6, 2014 at 8:41 am

Thanks for all the info MGS puts out on a daily basis, I love your site. But to me if any of the myths work to help make you a better putter then so be it. Everyone has a different style and way to do things, especially playing golf. It’s great that MSG talked about another method for people to us, Aimpoint, to putt better. Like a lot of others have said if you don’t like it don’t read it, go to another website.

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boner_champ March 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm

How ironic the giant bright orange banner “ADVERTISE HERE” at the bottom of the article. Dude, you already did.

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Andy March 6, 2014 at 9:25 am

Advertising? This “Greenread Myths busting” fits perfect here. Remember a month ago when Bubba at Scottsdale had the 5-ft putt to take Stadler to a playoff. We all heard Bubba’s caddie say, “Straight in, firm” then Faldo chimes in, “Yeah, straight in firm.” Bubba does as told, putt breaks left, Bubba yells at caddie for bad read… Here’s what EGOS guarantees – Bubba would have seen that LEFT break. I can meet Bubba (or anybody) at that exact spot on the 18th green and prove it. “Hey Bubba, see this angle/gap you just produced with this special putter, well that indicates left break on this 5-ft’er to tie Stadler. It’s an optical illusion that you, your caddie, and even Faldo thought this putt was straight. That is what EGOS does, eliminates all optical illusions… period.” Don’t know if Aimpoint can do the same? But EGOS guarantees can do it every time, and it’s quick about it.

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Andy March 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

LOL, I am in bed with Tony.. http://www.expertgreenreading.com is an alternative to Aimpoint which the few I’ve played with who Apoint’ed, were slow as Christmas, and needed reminding to stay off my line.

The website’s $350 putter comes with an Operating System that guarantees an expert greenread EVERY putt. How? Because it is based on gravity & 10th grade geometry, which both always work! And if ever get a bad greenread, it is pilot error. The website corrects pilot error as well… The op system is called EGOS-Expert Greenreading Operating System

With EGOS that there is no need for charts, no need for stimp #, no foot-feeling, no staring, no looking for drainage routes, no walking around the hole, no crouching, no wasting time…. The EGOS takes quick snap-pic “angle/gap” reads that automatically correlate to direction & amount of break from the “Calibration” on the practice green. EGOS is quick, automatic as blinking, precise, and expert greenreading anyway you look at it…

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The Midwest March 5, 2014 at 10:50 am

Wow. What a joke. Putting, like golf in general, is unique to every individual. Do what you need to do to feel like you’ve given yourself the best chance to pour every putt you have right in the middle. Then to throw the little promo at the end? C’mon man.

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I_golf March 5, 2014 at 1:01 am

Nasa/lasers/zero-charts or Peter/horrible writing/charts… 240 sounds like a deal, sign me up

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Noonan March 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

I will let you all know that there are actually 11 myths in green reading that need to be debunked, the Top 10 mentioned are absolutely correct. The 11th is AimPoint. I’ll tell you all why ReadRight Technology is far superior, but wait. We have a proprietary “laser” technology brought to us my Astrophysicists from NASA that will guarantee you will leave our clinic reading greens better.

We’re working a deal with the PGA Tour’s television partners to use a red line to show you the break of the putts on every PGA Tour green…as soon as we get enough funding to outbid AimPoint. I truly hope you will look us up and try our clinic out for the low, low price of $240.

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Peter March 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

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Phil March 3, 2014 at 4:37 am

If you want to learn to read a green ask a concretor who spend all their time Screeding concrete to flow towards drains or away from your house . Second point. The architect should have had more to say about how to read greens Eg. Have you ever seen greens slope towards bunkers? Cant have all that rain running into bunkers. Same goes with pit drains etc.
finally as far as ‘ads’ on your site why do you still promote Krank as the longest driver in golf?? Weve seen the results and it wasnt on top so get rid of the ad! … Err i mean, informative analysis.

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I_golf March 3, 2014 at 12:24 am

Next week, on MGS… How to cure your bothersome slice, written by an unbiased contributor, the designer of the SLDR driver at TaylorMade Golf! Are your grips not “holding their own?” Letd talk to a grip expert* in regard to which grips are right for you! *grip expert is our contributing editor, president of retail sales at Lamkin

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BladeRunner March 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Ofcourse this is an ad. And dont try to pass it off as ‘informational’. Any manufacturer or service provider will try to pass of their ad as information.
What a sell out.

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Chris March 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm

If one can overlook “interesting” personality, Mangum’s critique of aim point’s application is well worth reading. Essentially, aim point’s approach will work with a few caveats. You should first be able to control your pace of putting and aim better than a Crenshaw, Faxon, Roberts or Stricker. Second, the greens you play on should be flat or planar. Third, your greens should remain consistent throughout the year. Finally, you should have access to the mapping tech used by the television networks to produce their aim lines. At a minimum, you should stimp and laser level every green you wish to chart. It is my understanding that one of the treatises utilized to develop aim point was written by a Canadian physicist who subsequently opined that at the end of the day all of his calculations failed to improve his putting. For myself, I believe that I would prefer to have a round of golf with Shivas Irons as opposed to Stephen Hawking.

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thehacker March 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm

One thing about AimPoint, I bough the App for my iPhone, but in the end I never used it.

The problem is you have to know which way the green breaks, and the rule is…. there is no rule. Its all to do with judgement. If I could make a judgement on the breaks, why would I need a chart to tell me which way the putt would break?

Also a large part of how the break would affect your putt is the speed. How hard you stroke your putt, against the speed of the green which changes through the day.

So to be perfectly honest, I do not see Aimpoint as something which would help the poorest part of my game – i.e. putting. Because in the end I have to rely on my own judgement and my own feel to stroke the putt, and there’s no software in the world that can do that for you.

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Peter March 1, 2014 at 10:04 am

Revkev
I meant to respond to your post yesterday but got a little side tracked. It sounds like you already use a lot of what we teach in a class. I see this every so often. Here’s what Aimpoint does for players like you. It gives you a repeatable system to find the variables we look for (speed of the green, slope, distance). We use the feel you already have to pick up all those pieces and come up with a number or AimPoint. I hope this helps.

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Revkev March 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Peter that’s reasonable. I can buy that there is someway to make what I try to do more efficient and effective.

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TwoSolitudes March 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

Interesting discussion- both on the article and on the ad/not ad debate.

I found the article interesting, amusing and well written. Overall a great submission to the MGS blog done in a style that mostly fits with the rest of the site.

But let’s be honest, the last bit is clearly a pitch. Not an Ad, but certainly a pitch. Peter took the time to write this and used the opportunity to throw in a pitch at the end. There is nothing wrong with that. The shift from the myths OpEd to the pitch does come across as quite sudden however and the tone changes significantly.

“During a class the instructor will teach you how to gauge break, based upon the speed of the green and the slope of the putt.”

“The great thing about the current AimPoint System is that it is very easy to learn. There is even a new AimPoint Express Read that is extremely simple to learn, and yet also extremely effective on the course.

If you want a better way to read greens and ignore the myths from above, visit your local Aimpoint golf instructor. The AimPoint Instructor will help you #makeeverything ..”

Quotes like these just scream ad copy. And they provide the reader with absolutely no information on the writers view of how to read a putt. Which is what this piece should be doing.

It probably would have been more effective had it been much more subtle. Talk about the non-myth way to put correctly in the opinion of the writer in a bit more detail- without any reference to any product. Then limit the reference to the product to a single line in the Bio box about how your company you uses the principles described.

But again, there is nothing wrong with it. The Myths part of the piece is very good, and the thing is written very well.

I hope MGS is able to get other industry leaders to write on similar topics in the same kind of style. Just maybe with a little less (or a little less obvious) ad copy at the end.

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jmiller065 March 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

Setting the ad debate aside I wanted to make some comments about the 10 myths of putting listed on the article that actually do hold some truth in them, you might not agree but I wanted to at least get this comment section off the ad aspect and onto the myth aspect.

Myth #10 & Myth #8
Walking around the hole to just look with your eyes is not effective. If you walk around the hole to feel the general slopes under your feet of the green then you can actually gain information. I’m sure at some point we have seen more then one tour pro stop at one or more points say 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 of the way between their ball and the hole and act like they are putting from that point. They are feeling the slope of the green under their feet. In other words separated these two don’t make a lot of sense to use individually, however paired they are a common tactic used by better players that are unsure of the break.

Myth #5
Grass is a plant, grain is nothing more then which direction the grass blades are leaning towards. Plants in general they have auxin chemicals in them that make them grow longer on the shaded side of the plant, forcing the lighted side of the plant to be shorter and thus lean towards the light. Bermuda grass is really the one where grain gets talked about a lot. It will effect speed of the ball into the grain being sticky / slow. It will effect the speed down grain being slick / faster. Cross grain can effect more or less break from the friction of the blades, it will slightly push or pull the ball with the grain. For me I tend to notice grain a lot more when the greens are not cut / rolled to tour speeds.

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Revkev March 1, 2014 at 8:08 am

I think this goes to friction. But I’m the wrong person in my family to speak to that accurately. I have no beef with the myths in so far as if only one of them is used to determine break you’ll miss other key data.

However, I’m still struggling to determine what the difference between aim point and what I and many golfers do when we putt. I do review the available data on the green every bit as much and more so than for a full shot. From that review I determine an aim point and I attempt to hit it there. I’ve yet to read or hear a compelling reason to make me think that your aim point system is unique or different beyond, “oh it is.” Give me a bone and I may bite. Regardless I appreciated reading the article and it has sparked discussion about an important component and oft overlooked facet of the game.

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I_golf March 1, 2014 at 12:43 am

1000000 a year he turns down. so aimpoint reps can trick him into posting veiled ads for free. That was an ad brother. I love the site, but dont get mad at us for seeing it for what it is. I want to write an article about karma for you, in that, if each reader wants to improve at golf they need good karma… which can be attained by handing me 250 dollars.

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Peter March 1, 2014 at 12:28 am

JM

Thanks for the response and reading the article.

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Jm March 1, 2014 at 6:45 am

Peter

No problem. Thanks for your candid responses and i appreciate you taking the time to be involved in the comments here

Thanks for resoecting my view and i truly wish you the best of luck with Aimpoint

Have a great dau

JM

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TheHacker February 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm

For me the huge challenge is just simply figuring out whether its a left to right or right to left break, and getting the pace right. Some breaks are pretty obvious, and you can literally feel it with your feet. Others are too subtle to feel or even see. My mantra has always been assume no breaks and hit it with sufficient authority.

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blstrong (SeeRed) February 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I’m confused and dismayed about the amount of talk regarding MGS dropping the ball, or selling out, or somehow not living up to the site’s reputation over this article. That’s what it is, after all- an article. It’s not technically an ad (i.e. “a paid announcement, as of goods for sale, in newspapers or magazines, on radio or television, etc.”), though it does focus on a particular golf-related product. But…didn’t the Bettinardi piece earlier in the week also do that? It was written in a different format, sure, and by someone on the MGS staff (an important distinction in terms of how the article is perceived, it seems), but it was still focused on Bettinardi putters. Was it an ad for them? I think most here would argue that it was not. Dave might be a shameless fan of them (sorry Dave), but I don’t think it could be argued he was trying to sell them. In fact, I’ll bet with very little effort one could peruse the MGS archives and find hundreds of articles on golf-related products that could be read as very favorable “ads” for those products. Many of those articles will actually have quoted passages from the company owners themselves talking about their products. But they are not ads, they are articles that pointedly support a specific product that some or all of the MGS staff felt strongly enough about to print them on their site and associate the good MGS name with them in some way. Honestly, after reading all of the comments on this article, I think the biggest difference is that it was written by Peter and not by someone on the MGS staff. It therefore may have come across as maybe a little more biased than most of what we are used to reading on the site (but event his is a stretch to me). That still does not make it an ad. And how many times has MGS been accused of taking TMAG money (for example) for writing something positive about their products? That has GOT to be getting old. I’ve gotten long-winded, but I for one was interested to hear from someone outside the MGS staff talk about their product and present in such a way as to generate interest (and some light reading- I enjoyed the “myths” angle). But that is my opinion.

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Peter February 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm

JM. Can you please expand on this statement? I would like to hear some of your counter.
“I can individually dissect each one of his responses to this supposed top 10 putting myths and provide an anecdotal counter response just as he did.”

What I have provided is a point of view towards looking at putting the same way we do when hitting shots on the course, ie; tee shots, fairway, rough, bunkers and on and on. Why would you limit yourself to outdated informantion and yes MYTH”S?

I guess the new imformation (Radar monitoring device: Trackman or Flightscope) that instructors use to teach swing path and ball flight, is useless. These are measured in much the same way that AimPoint has been: Take information in and apply it to the problem or question at hand to come up with the best answer possible.

I hate to tell you but, physics is very difficult to dispute.

I look forward to your response.

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jm February 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm

peter,

the point in my previous comments, as i stated, is not that my anecdotal counter responses would be any more correct than yours. the point is they when you countered these “myths” you provided no statistical data or scientific study evidence to back up your claims. my point was anyone can dispel a myth if you are not required to provide any evidence to back up your own claims.

for the record, i never said any of your information was inaccurate. actually I am sure it is extremely helpful and on point as far as green reading. i have actually learned quite a bit from just the small amount of information i have gleaned from those that have attended an aimpoint clinic. i completely agree with the principle and concept of aimpoint green reading.

my issue was the article being labeled as the “top 10 green reading myths exposed” when in actuality it was, in my opinion, a thinly veiled ad piece meant to pique readers interest in aimpoint. and on top of that it was written by someone associated with aimpoint and it provided no meaningful data to back up the counter responses to the myths.

also the myths mentioned are not usually viewed as absolutes (as you present them) in my opinion. i mean the grain one in particular. no one would say that grain alone is the sole influence on any putt but it surely does play a role in the overall break of some putts on certain types of grass.

and to disregard “yoga” style green reading simply because it is not the same view as where/how you stand to putt? that seems a little strange to me. by that same logic the only correct place to read a green is standing where your ball is in the same posture as you intend to use on your putting stroke. you state “if you stand to putt, you should probably also stand to read”- the point of green reading is not obtaining the correct green read by reading the green how you are going to putt, the point is to obtain the correct read by whatever means necessary. so in your view there would be no stooping at all, I am quite certain i see almost every pro CROUCH or STOOP down to read putts almost every telecast.

also you state that “balls roll down hills not up them”. this is true only if there is no force on the ball involved. as you know, in putting the putter places a force on the ball so a ball can easily roll up a hill. if you took your statement literally then we would not be able to get a ball to the hole on an uphill putt because a ball cannot roll up a hill in your statement. any ball can easily roll up hill and it happens on a lot of putts, you just have to hit it with a putter or most any solid object really. the statement should have been written differently to reflect a balls tendency to move or deflect downhill as the speed of said ball decreases.

like i said i totally agree with the science behind aimpoint and i never said otherwise. you just assumed because i questioned the validity of the article that i did not believe in it.

also i do like and believe all the new radar metrics out and have a full understanding of ball flight laws, d-plane, a of a, square to path, square to target or whatever else you want to talk about, i also have a decent knowledge of the basic premises of the latest putter fitting radar/metrics as well and no i dont view them as useless. i never recall ever saying any science is useless and there is no reason to put words in my mouth so to speak.

i do have certain issues with some instructors in the full swing who seem to encourage getting as close to optimum as possible while ignoring the possibility that maybe a less optimum but more repeatable motion may be more beneficial.

if i am wrong in any of this please let me know. i truly come on here to learn. thanks for hating to tell me that physics is hard to dispute. not sure why you hate to tell me that when your background is in science, it would seem you would be happy to tell me that.

also i can tell you that through history, many things that were thought to be scientifically “sound” and undisputable “facts” were proven wrong many times over. i am sure with your science background you are aware that some brilliant minds (much smarter than me) actually do not agree with the principles of gravity and the theory of relativity.

happy putting!!

JM

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Shoey March 1, 2014 at 8:57 pm

JM,

Could you please supply us all with examples of scientifically sound and undisputable scientifical facts that are just completely wrong ?

The calculations used by Aimpoint are based on laws of physics, recognised by any qualified physician. Are you in a position to dispute these laws ?

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jm March 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

shoey,

like i said, throughout history many things once regarded as indisputable facts were disproved. it is one of the basic tenets of many scientific studies, to disprove a current theory. a few historic examples are phlogiston, the emission theory, the geocentric universe, spontaneous generation, flat earth theory, theory of stable continents.

in the past these were viewed as indisputable facts, but have been since disproved. Subsequently history teaches us that many things we accept as fact at this point in time will be disproved at some point in the future as our understanding of our world and the universe grows.

i never claimed to know which one of the current theories will be disproved just that history shows some will indeed be disproved. and yes some physicists do actually question the current principles of the theory of relativity and even gravity. I am not one of those people nor did I ever claim to be.

Also, anyone can dispute these laws (you don’t have to be a physicist or physician), but it does help your argument if you haves some evidence, facts or at least a theoretical formula to back up your argument

happy putting

jm

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RP Jacobs II March 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I believe that you meant physicist, not physician.

As one with a BSc in Physics, along with working with physicians daily, most only took the required physics courses to sit for the MCATs(one year’s worth if not their major)-

Carry on-

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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Jm February 28, 2014 at 3:28 pm

True, YOU point consumers to product.

In this case it is someone else pointing us to product- not you. I hope you see this is truly the critical difference here. NO ONE is doubting you are not full of crap. We just doubt the intentions of those associated with products.

And rightfully so, as you pointed out we have been fed marketing so much we are cynical. I come here for articles about products that are not written by someone associated with the product. If you believe in the product, great, you/another staff member should write another article about it and include comments from Peter in my opinion.

My point about my anecdotes was that Peter provided ZERO data or facts to back up his disspelling of the myths. He only directs us to Aimpoint to learn about reading greens. Not saying I am right, i am just saying he only teases us with info and directs us to take an Aimpoint class.

Also when you point consumers to products the article typically has a review type feel to it or at least an intro to a new product and it comes from you.

Perception is reality- if people perceive this as an ad you may want to consider a different format for allowing companies/manufacturers or those associated with said mfg/co’s to write articles based on their products and industry

Just my opininon

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Jm February 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Whoa!! Getting heated up in here

Despite comments to the contrary I still view this as an ad in my opinion. It’s a classic ad set up, present information upfront and then point the consumer in the direction of your product.

The fact that you did not accept any ad dollars does not change the fact that it’s an ad. I’m sure Peter Brown was more than happy to provide you with this article pointing consumers in the direction of his product based on myths that were supposedly disspelled without presenting any actual data to back it up. I’m not saying there’s not data to back it up I’m just saying it wasn’t presented in this article. He simply stated the anecdotal myth and then anecdotally disspelled them.

I’m sure it is frustrating for you to have this perceived to be an ad by so many of your avid readers. I visit this website at least once today to check for new articles and greatly appreciate the majority of things right here. However when you say it’s getting old to hear the honest feedback of your avid readers that’s definitely disappointing and it definitely discourages me from coming here or posting anything I could be viewed as slightly negative about any of your articles. Or in this case an article written by someone associated with a golf company basically promoting their company product on your page for free.

I can individually dissect each one of his responses to this supposed top 10 putting myths and provide an anecdotal counter response just as he did.

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mygolfspy February 28, 2014 at 2:29 pm

We point the consumer to every product we write about Jm.

And if you are frustrated I get it, but you come here for honesty, guess what, that’s what I am doing. Being honest.

I believe in the AimPoint product, and so does I think every other MGS writer, and we plan to continue to tell our readers about products we believe in. If you want to be told about products that sites or magazines really don’t believe in but tell you they do MGS is not for you. And if ours comes across as an ad because we believe in it I really don;t know what else to say.

This really comes down to you (readers) being fed marketing bullshit there whole life so you assume we are just going to eventually do the same. Story is old with me…I get it…but still stale. I have bigger and better things to do with my career and life then try to prove EVERY day that I am not full of shit. Or that every article MUST have something behind it, someone lining my pocket, me selling out.

Onward and upward my friend. I will keep being me and trying to change this industry. You, I done trying to prove this was anything other then a recommendation to look at a product that works.

P.S. – just because you have an anecdotal response to every myth means what? That the system does not help golfers? That you are right, we are wrong? That this must be an ad? Give me a break.

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Jm February 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I think people are put off when you label the article as pertaining to putting myths and the propose only one solution to the problem. All the while the article is written, coincidentally by someone associated with said solution

Nice little buzzfeed type post about supposed myths and then a nice little promo for aimpoint is what it reads like for me.

If you want to propse Aimpoint as a solution at least title the article appropriately and have it reviewed or written by a staff member

It would be like having a top ten iron fitting myths article written by someone from Ping (or any other company really) and then only mentioning Pings fitting system as the solution.

There are plenty of ads for products/services that try to present themselves as informational only. Tom Wishon and David Edel constantly use this type of marketing. Not saying there is anything wrong with either one and I definitely appreciate the info here but there is definitely a plug for Aimpoint in the article with no other options for help with green reading.

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Peter February 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I will invite a MGS writer to do a review for sure. They can review it and give you their opinion without the feeling that something is being sold. Thanks for reading the article.

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hckymeyer March 2, 2014 at 2:36 am

I’d be more than happy to volunteer for that job :)

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andrew February 28, 2014 at 11:42 am

this information sounds suspiciously like its trying to sell me something…please don’t go down that rabbit hole, mgs…

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Will Par February 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

I’m very disappointed in this article. I thought MGS was dedicated to helping golfers play better by having a better understanding of the game. Why would MGS publish an article that labels proven green reading techniques as “Myths”?

Well, after reading to the end I did find the answer to my question. AimPoint. This is not the first time I’ve seen AimPoint instructors dismiss everything that doesn’t fit their system. The AimPoint guys all seem to adopt an elitist attitude that makes fun of anyone who thinks grain or mountains can move the ball in directions that you wouldn’t expect. Their system is perfect and doesn’t have to deal with these other factors. My BS meter goes off every time I read something like this. I’ve been around a while and I know what factors influence how a putt rolls.

Almost every “myth” listed here has value in specific situations. I’m not a plumb-bobber, but I consider grain, terrain influence, and how the putt breaks around the hole on almost every putt I read. I know doing this allows me to make putts I would otherwise miss.

I’m sure AimPoint has value for some. If it gives you confidence on the greens, use it. But don’t knock proven principles in the process. There are more ways than one to make a putt. MGS, this article is a miss. I know you can do better. We all have bad days.

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Peter February 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Will,
This list was compiled by polling several different groups of experts in their field. I went through their answers and compiled the list inorder of mention. I really ment for this to be an entertaining informationl peice (sorry I’m a middle school teacher too and happen to be sarcastic at times).

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Revkev February 28, 2014 at 8:05 am

I think folks thought it was and ad because it smells like one. There are a list of myths associated with putting. There is a pitch and a link to follow for a new secret method that reveals the “truth”. The author of the article is involved in the product.

With all due respect why wouldn’t we thin it’s an ad?

Since Peter has been so kind as to stick around and MGS has reminded us that this is not an Ad I believe it. So I have a question that I hope will be answered with an other than try it and you’ll see.

What’s the difference between aim point and the spot putting that many golfers including myself use? In the end you have to use the data that you have gleaned to start the putt on a line at a particular pace. That line may be at a point three balls left of the cup or at a green discoloration, something like that. Seems to me that golfers have been using an “aim” point since the game was invented. So is there some other way to glean info on a putt that makes it easier to pick that point?

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Shoey February 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

Yes, Revkev, there is. After completing a few quick and simple steps for the read, Aimpoint gives you the exact amount of break you need to apply to your putt.

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RP Jacobs II February 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Exellent post RK & salient points!

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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Shoey February 28, 2014 at 7:50 am

Excellent article, Peter.

I took the course 2 years ago and have been using Aimpoint ever since to read greens. It has helped me dramatically with my putting and I have the stats to prove it. It is an absolutely fabulous system and scientifically sound and proven. In my opinion, if you’re not Aimpointing your putts, you’re just guessing. All the myths listed above are absolutely spot on. Well done, Peter, for putting them across in an amusing and light-hearted way.

Some of the replies on here are downright rude. Those responsible should have had a bit more respect for someone trying to provide us all with excellent educational information.

Keep up the good work, Peter.

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RP Jacobs II February 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Nice post Shoey-

Thank you for taking the time to give your impression.

Have a great season :)

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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MJD February 28, 2014 at 12:02 am

It is funny that probably 99% of the people that commented on this in a negative manor has not been to an AIMPOINT class i am sure. When you do, Then comment and we will see what changes or not.

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Blade February 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Why do people think this is an ad? It’s no more of an ad than the previous article featuring a putter is. Why is this suddenly different because it’s not a physical club or training aid?

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Blstrong (SeeRed) February 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Or maybe because it was presented by someone other than MGS staff? But who better to present the material, really? Too bad about all the ad talk nonsense. I thought the article met the high standards we’ve come to expect from the site.

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Tom February 27, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I have taken the aimpoint class and it was worth it for me it does not take any longer to read a putt if you practice and trust what you have been taught. The less people that use it the better for me and those that do,we have the advantage,educated reads and more made putts thanks.

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Peter February 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

I’ll address a couple of your questions drbloor and Chris. First off this article is informational not an ad. Second the advantage that Aimpoint has over a couple of these myths is that it is repeatable anytime and on any putting surface. The steps are exactly the same as gauging wind, elevation, distance and so on. This sounds just like when we hit irons from the fairway or rough.

Chris. Putting is continuing to progress just like all other aspects of golf and more information is not a myth. What Aimpoint can help you with is increasing your chances of making putts more often.

Thanks for the comments. This is why I wanted to right this article.

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Blstrong (SeeRed) February 27, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Peter- Thanks for sticking around and addressing the questions. I was intrigued by the article and am even more so after looking through the website. Unfortunately, it seems the clinics are only available at country clubs near me (SF Bay Area) and not open to the public. Maybe that will change in the future. Not quite ready to jump in for the $250 lesson just yet.

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Peter February 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

SeeRed,
Thanks for your interest. We do offer a less expensive version.

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golfercraig February 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Why? Why a less expensive version? If it’s not worth it, don’t sell it. So, for more money, you get more information? Nice. Any stock tips for us?

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Chris February 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

You are correct. #11 not 10. Way too much coffee. However, while I have not invested in the aim point system, I was intrigued when Aim Point was reviewed by MGS nearly two years ago. Since that time, I have been particularly entertained by the endless exchanges between mangum and graham. IMO the biggest myth is that putting can be be reduced to a series of equations.

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drbloor February 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Geez. Infomercials on Mygolfspy. The shark, it has been jumped.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we KNOW you’re not getting paid. But if you’re putting this on your front page, the poster is–or should be–obliged to offer some information as to how “Aimpoint” is superior to the other myths exposed.

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Christopher February 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I think unless greens are a constant slope (or artificial and constant) then it’s tough to get the idea that the aim-point and the actual break are different things. That video shows a pretty funky putt it goes along the aim-line then drops off to the hole. If it was a constant slope it wouldn’t go anywhere near that aim-line! If a putt breaks 9 inches left-to-right then your aim will be three times that. It’s fascinating that our subconscious knows more than what our eyes tell us. We’ll see the 9 inch apex and won’t aim the correct amount but more often or not we’ll pull the putt (or hit it a lot harder) in an attempt to compensate for our eyes deficiency.

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Earl February 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I don’t oppose to “feel putting”. You can’t teach good intuition. I’ll be asking PGA Honorary President, Allen Wronowski about reading the green on our upcoming call. You can listen in if you want. http://www.projectbusinessgolf.com/teleseminar

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Peter February 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I would love to hear his thoughts on green reading. Will this be a podcast type setup or live only?

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Peter February 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Ise,
The system is well laid out and is really easy to use. What it will do for you is give effective feedback to your practice and during rounds. No more guessing as to wether you miss the read, speed, stroke, alignment or just a bad break. It’s the same feedback you want on the range when you hit an iron to a specific target. It’s worth your time to check it out.

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Isle Of Man February 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

I think this AimPoint stuff is hogwash. But then again, it’s a well laid out system that’s easy to sell. And make people more confident since they’ve paid X amount of dollars for a class (120€ for a basics course over here). Seriously doubt this stuff would make any difference in my putting…

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Golfer Burnz February 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Don’t you hate it when you when you correctly read a 35′ triple breaking putt that sweeps off the table to the right in the last five feet and the ball stops in a ballmark a 1/2″ in front of the hole :)

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Chris February 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Myth #9: Aimpoint charts will help your putting.Caveat: If you or your caddy(and don’t we all have a caddy on retainer) accurately map every green every day we golf and have the touch and skill of Crenshaw,then said charts may help some golfers some of the time.

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Dave Wolfe February 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I don’t think that you know how the modern AimPoint system works…
Plus, it would make more sense if you made that Myth #11 since there are already 10 listed…

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David W February 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

A good friend of mine is a positive handicap (played college and pro golf) and is an excellent putter. He told me to trust the line from the low side to make more putts. He said that if he is above the hole he always looks at it from the low side but that if he is below the hole he only sometimes (if he thinks there is a small break he is having trouble seeing) walks around to the high side. Of course this is his instruction for us amateurs playing standard rounds. If he is in a tournament he looks at it from several angles but told me that without experience doing this it can actually throw you off because it can make you second guess and that’s the worst thing that you can do with putting.

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Adam February 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I love this..
” I think that saying that you are a “feel putter” actually means that you have no real system for putting and that each putt is a guess about line and speed.
Some putts do go in, validating your feel. When a putt doesn’t go in, you just felt it wrong, as opposed to hitting it on a poor line with awful pace.”

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RP Jacobs II February 28, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Huh?…..

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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blstrong (SeeRed) February 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Pretty entertaining read, I thought, whatever your thoughts on AimPoint or green reading in general. Kind of nice to have another voice on the blog as well. It’s not only educational content, but different perspectives, right? If one wants to read the article as an add, then that is a choice, I suppose. As an avid golfer, I appreciate being exposed to the many and varied golf-related things that are available to me. What I choose to do with that information is up to me. Of course, being the crack feel putter that I am, who was born with the natural ability to just know what my ball is going to do on any given green (don’t be hater just because you’re jealous), but takes his reads from a worm’s eye view and checks the nearest large body of water, high rise building, mountain peak, etc., just to be sure, I look at “systems” such as AimPoint and just chuckle. Seriously though, thanks to MGS for bringing this kind of content to the site.

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RP Jacobs II February 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

LMAO, great post BL :)

Even if it is an ad, which I do not take it to be, that does nothing to diminish the validity of the content.

These peeps that crawl out from under the rocks to bash at every turn aren’t even rational enough in their thoughts to see that, lol

It’s a shame, cuz they really shortchange them selves.

Thank goodness that “cut his nose off to spite his face” is figurative, otherwise we’d have a lot of cosmetically challenged idiots on the courses, lol

Though I guess that they would be readily identifiable 😉

Have a great season Bro!!

My Best,
Richard

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THTC March 7, 2015 at 8:35 pm

It’s an Ad!
I have been in the business for 20 years.
It wants you to spend money to learn something new.
Ads can inform.
They teases but tells nothing usable.
If they gave it away for free, what’s in it for them.
That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it defiantly is an Ad.
No one has to be rude here, that goes for you too mygolfspy.

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Peter February 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Tony,
I disagree that Aimpoint will make rounds take longer. If you haven’t taken one of the course you might be interested to see that Aimpoint used properly will speed up play. At this point there are a couple different versions depending on how you learn.

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Gary McCormick February 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

I love this: “…the reason that your ball went screaming into the pines was 100% math and 0% myth.”

It’s physics, people!

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Adam February 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm

HA! this came up when my screen refreshed
I posted something similar below.

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Pat Sellers February 27, 2014 at 11:25 am

Johnny Miller make the comment every week about the grain growing towards the setting sun. Hogwash. I tried to discuss it with him and even show him but he’s Johnny and won’t listen to anybody.

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Tony February 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

You really need to look at http://www.expertgreenreading.com

I think there is a way and maybe only one way. If we use aim point we will need to have five hour rounds heading to six hour rounds. I want faster golf not slower.

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RP Jacobs II February 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Good Point!

Have a great season-

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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marty February 27, 2014 at 10:59 am

so this is an ad?

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mygolfspy February 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

Seriously, what is wrong with people LOL. We deal with this on the daily no matter what we write.

NO, THIS IS NOT AN AD. THIS COMPANY, THIS PRODUCT, NOR DID THIS PERSON PAY US A SINGLE DIME. AND WE ARE MAKING ZERO DOLLARS IN ANY WAY.

This is something we thought might be interesting for you to read. You know “Educational Content”.

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marty February 28, 2014 at 11:54 am

thanks for clearing it up for me. you could have chosen to do it in a more polite and mature way, but i appreciate the clarification.

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mygolfspy February 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Just getting old to be honest Marty. And polite doesn’t achieve anything regarding you and others perception of who I am and what I am here to do.

Here are the facts: We turn down what would equal over $1,000,000 ad dollars combined across the entire industry. Hard to quantify it exactly anymore because companies know we don’t accept their money so they don’t approach us with proposals that often these days. But our competition makes this and much more with less traffic and influence.

That being said, I am on a mission to help change an industry, you thinking I sold out for a putting reading article is just getting in my way of a long term goal. Because how much do I have to turn down for you to believe me, $5 Million a year? Point is no amount is going to change yours or the other skeptic minds.

I am here to do a few things.

1. Make it about the consumer first, company last.
2. Performance first, marketing and claims last.
3. And help further educate the consumer so they can be exposed to more choices more options and make better decision with those options at the end of the day.

If you can not see that this is an “educational Based” piece of content, what do you want me to do then? Come and personally show you my books at your dinner table to convince you? Happy to by the way if you cover the flight (you would have to because you might think the free flight was an ad for something).

You can either believe me or not believe me. But I can guarantee you one thing, there is NO ONE else standing in line to take my job over and do what I am trying to do. NO ONE. We are the only option for cutting through the BS. If we go, you have nothing.

And that brings me to the ultimate goal and point to all of this.

Even if I did take the ad dollars to survive (which is the point right, so we can actually deliver you the content you want) it wouldn’t change a god damn thing about what I write or what I allow any one else to publish on my site. Meet me for 2 minutes and you will know that. Money doesn’t drive me, doing what is right drives me. And your half-cocked comment isn’t going to make me feel bad or change who I am. Take my word or don’t and if you don’t good luck finding a new place to hang your hat that tells it like it is.

So, question is, do you want us to survive, thrive and be able to deliver better content? Or struggle, fail, close up shop and never hear from us again? Which is it?

If you want what we do and more of it. We have to grow. I have a lot of plans to bring you guys so amazingly cool shit over the next few years. But I can’t just make that happen with $0. So you are just going to have to trust me to do the right thing whether I do it with $5 bucks or $5 million.

I have a moral compass and it will always point in the same direction. Now let me get back to doing whats important.

And no response needed. Seriously. Don’t take this back to the AimPoint article and try to make some claim. Once again we are here to educate. AimPoint does that. If you don;t like it, turn the channel that day.

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RP Jacobs II February 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Well said-

Fairways & Greens My Friend,
Richard

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Hunt March 1, 2014 at 12:35 am

1. I love this site. It is my favorite site…period.
2. This response is outright unacceptable. If you have visions on doing all the things you mentioned above…good for you. Glad I get to witness it but that doesn’t give you the right to berate someone over a perfectly legitamite question (I’ll explain why it was in a sec). If you are truly setting out to “change the industry” did you expect it to be easy? Did you expect us all to fall in line and agree with you 100% of the time? I would hope not. I have plenty more to say about your behavior but I will leave it with this. You owe this guy (who I do not know) an apology.
3. Nobody cares about your financials or if you take ad money. What we do care about is you not selling out. Take the damn money. Don’t sell out. It’s simple. And if it’s not and I am wrong do us all a favor and shut up about it. Run your business but stop bitching about it.
4. If you really are that pissed off (and it appears that you are) I have a suggestion for you…create a link that explains this sites advertising policies. I’ll get creative for you http://www.MyGolfSpy.com/adpolicy and post it any time there is a question like this one. It will save you time and energy and eventually people will shut up. Oh…and you might want to talk to someone about anger management. :)
5. The reason his question about it being an ad was valid is because this article felt like a damn ad! What did we learn? 10 so so misconceptions about putting. That is great. What happened at the end? Go get a lesson from AimPoint! Nothing wrong with that (but it did leave me wanting to know more…something a good ad does).
6. I remember when BSG was my favorite site. Then it’s owners decided that they wanted to treat their customers like crap. Look where it is now. Hardly anyone posts there anymore. Please please please please please don’t become like them. This site is too freaking good to have that happen.
7. Still my favorite site…period.

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