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AimPoint Green Reading

post #1 of 397
Thread Starter 

In what could be the underdog story of the year, I successfully convinced my fiancee that "borrowing" $200 from the wedding fund to attend a green reading class on her birthday was a good idea.

 

So now I've got a few questions.  I know there are a few instructors on here, and I would also guess that there are some people who may have taken a class.  Strangely enough, I haven't been able to find any posts here that really address the value of this instruction.  Even on google, i basically end up finding websites and forum posts by instructors, which is helpful, but I'd also like to see some perspective from students.

 

So here are a couple questions/concerns 

 

1. Am I going to walk out of the Level 1 class with enough new information to really make a difference (assume i put in the time to practice and yada yada), or I am going to have to sign up for Level 2 to really get a significant benefit?

 

2. Is this a system where you have to pre-map out each green, with highs, lows, slopes, fall lines etc.?  If so, is this something that you can do during a typical weekend round without pissing off everyone else, or would i have to sneak out there at night or on a rainy day? Also, if pre-mapping is the key, does that mean that there is little benefit when playing a new course?

 

3. Is this going to be like reading a Dave Pelz book, where I walk away convinced that my life could be changed for the better if only I bought 85 Pelzgolf gadgets that cost $50-100 each?  You can't even find a truth board anywhere!

 

4. Any success stories from people who have attended these classes?

 

I think that's about it.  Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

 

post #2 of 397

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

In what could be the underdog story of the year, I successfully convinced my fiancee that "borrowing" $200 from the wedding fund to attend a green reading class on her birthday was a good idea.

 

As happy as I am for you, I have to wonder if it's not an appropriate time for this one:

 

ackbar_trap.jpg
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

So now I've got a few questions. I know there are a few instructors on here, and I would also guess that there are some people who may have taken a class. Strangely enough, I haven't been able to find any posts here that really address the value of this instruction. Even on google, i basically end up finding websites and forum posts by instructors, which is helpful, but I'd also like to see some perspective from students.

 

Here's one review: http://3jack.blogspot.com/2011/03/32711-aimpoint-clinic-review.html

 

There are others as well, but I agree, they're not all that plentiful. We'll build some up here, though, as I'll be promoting AimPoint a little on the forum.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

1. Am I going to walk out of the Level 1 class with enough new information to really make a difference (assume i put in the time to practice and yada yada), or I am going to have to sign up for Level 2 to really get a significant benefit?


You'll be fine. Lots - LOTS - of great information in Level 1. To be clear, Level 1 ("Fundamentals" - the three levels were renamed "Introductory" and "Fundamentals" and "Advanced") classes are just planar reads, which account for 95% of reads inside of 20 feet or so. You'll also improve your longer putting by having an idea of how greens are truly shaped, what anchors are and how they work, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

2. Is this a system where you have to pre-map out each green, with highs, lows, slopes, fall lines etc.?  If so, is this something that you can do during a typical weekend round without pissing off everyone else, or would i have to sneak out there at night or on a rainy day? Also, if pre-mapping is the key, does that mean that there is little benefit when playing a new course?

 

Nope. Mapping helps, and you're encouraged to do that for your home course if for no other reason than you won't have to guess at the percentage slope. If you take one reading during each round of golf around a likely pin position, you can map your entire course in a few rounds.

 

But the principles apply everywhere earth's physics applies, and a good case can be made that it will help you more on greens that are new to you - you've not learned to over-ride the optical illusions and things that you've learned to avoid on your home course.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

3. Is this going to be like reading a Dave Pelz book, where I walk away convinced that my life could be changed for the better if only I bought 85 Pelzgolf gadgets that cost $50-100 each?  You can't even find a truth board anywhere!

 

Nope. You'll get a chart in your class, and a student workbook. About the only thing you might want to buy is a level to measure slope, but that's up to you. Everything else you could need - things like "string" and "crochet needles" are either things you can make with pencils or, well, string. ;-)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

4. Any success stories from people who have attended these classes?

 

I'm a certified instructor now (or will be - I'm not sure what the process is there) so I'm sure my own opinion won't count for much. But I am confident that once you learn the basics, you'll find it's pretty eye-opening.

 

I encourage others to post.

post #3 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsc123 View Post

In what could be the underdog story of the year, I successfully convinced my fiancee that "borrowing" $200 from the wedding fund to attend a green reading class on her birthday was a good idea.

 

 


Screw the green reading! Can you teach me how to do that ^^^^^^^^^^^^?

 

post #4 of 397

Serious Question for Erik: I don't doubt or disagree with the science, but do think getting there can be a chore -- is this kind of stuff another step in the direction of the "5 hour standard round"?  And I understand that someone who is very familiar with the program and a very good player can probably compute this stuff pretty quicky, but those that aren't???

 

On a side note, I have been researching this stuff on the internet quite a bit and do find it pretty informative.

post #5 of 397

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BallStriker View Post

Serious Question for Eric: I don't doubt or disagree with the science, but do think getting there can be a chore -- is this kind of stuff another step in the direction of the "5 hour standard round"?  And I understand that someone who is very familiar with the program and a very good player can probably compute this stuff pretty quicky, but those that aren't???

 

Those that aren't should apply a dash of in increasing levels until they're more proficient. I'll have John Graham answer this question more, as he'll have a better answer for you, but some senior instructors have said it can be done in about 15-20 seconds once you're good. I imagine that even if you're slow (but do the work while others are still putting), you can do it even as an AimPoint newbie just as quickly as you could walking around the hole and crouching to get your "old" kind of read.

 

80-90% of your "read" occurs as you're walking onto the green. You've already checked out the green shape, begun estimating slope percentage, distance, and where your high and low anchors are.

 

But yeah, "pace" or "speed" of play questions come up a lot... and the final answer is that you'll become faster in time, and if you're slower to start it won't be by much and you can do some time practicing so that you can speed up on even the practice putting green.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BallStriker View Post

On a side note, I have been researching this stuff on the internet quite a bit and do find it pretty informative.

 

 

Great. If you find any reviews, good or bad, post them in this thread.

post #6 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by BallStriker View Post

Serious Question for Erik: I don't doubt or disagree with the science, but do think getting there can be a chore -- is this kind of stuff another step in the direction of the "5 hour standard round"?  And I understand that someone who is very familiar with the program and a very good player can probably compute this stuff pretty quicky, but those that aren't???

 

On a side note, I have been researching this stuff on the internet quite a bit and do find it pretty informative.


Ballstriker,

 

You bring up a concern that I hear over and over again. A justified concern to be sure. 

 

Like anything else that we learn and need to apply there will be a change in proficiency and speed as skill and experience are gained.

 

I liken it very similar to learning to drive. At the beginning, I think there is a desire by most to practice the skills in a controlled environment like a parking lot or other similar place.

 

Eventually, a comfort in the skills allows for the challenge of the real road. Surely, one can look back and remember awareness of the surroundings a little lacking as a focus on the acts required to turn the wheel and hit the correct pedals is the main focus. Situations arise that you've never before encountered and choices are made rightly or wrongly. Hopefully, things are learned based on those outcomes.

 

Later on, real proficiency becomes a reality. You start to see potential accidents way before they may happen and your ability to embrace the environment significantly outweighs the focus needed to do the actions.

 

AimPoint is exactly the same thing.  Information is learned and must be assimilated.

 

Practice needs to take place in that controlled environment. (the putting green)

 

Learned skills get applied in the real world. Situations are seen and choices are made.

 

Learning and adjustments are made.

 

Skill becomes proficient.

 

Speed becomes very quick.

 

On the other hand, there is no question that the accuracy of the read can increase with a little extra time. Either before from proper and accurate mapping or during the round when dealing with longer putts or trickier shapes.

 

It doesn't require a high level of playing ability to do it well though.

 

I've been doing it coming up on three years, and like Erik said I can get most of the read done before I've ever reached the green even on a course I've never seen before.

 

Granted, I have worked very hard to learn how to do it and to do it quickly.

 

Also, don't think that AimPoint should  be used to completely remove all previous feel and experience. There will be times that whatever experiences you've encountered in the past will be relevant to the present. AimPoint enhances feel. It doesn't replace feel.

 

If you want to make putts and read greens fast, than practice it.

 

You can do both.

 

 

post #7 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Graham View Post



 

I liken it very similar to learning to drive. At the beginning, I think there is a desire by most to practice the skills in a controlled environment like a parking lot or other similar place.

 

 

Was trying to wrap my head around someone learning to drive in a parking lot and then it dawned on me, "oh, he means drive a CAR!"

 

LOL.

post #8 of 397

I will be attending a Lvl 1 Fundamentals clinic this Saturday and I can't wait.  Putting has always been a struggle for me, and i'm planning on really improving in this area this season.  Of course, one of the biggest problems that I have is reading certain greens, what good is it to be able to putt where you want to if you can't properly read the greens?  So i'm really looking forward to this and I will try and post back some feedback next week.

 

post #9 of 397

I'll be watching this thread with interest. My clinic's booked for 7th May here in the UK and am looking forward to it.

 

One think I did notice in a video recently was that one of the instructors was demonstrating the technique and (just adible over wind noise!) said "I don't go anywhere without those things" meaning his spirit level and method to find the 6:00. I hope the AimPoint method becomes second nature enough to only carry the AimPoint charts around and be able to know green speeds based on a quick evaluation of the practice area. I'd imagine people getting a little peeved if at every green I have to walk around the hole over their putting lines to find 6:00 and then stick a level down to find which chart to use and then decide on where I need to putt etc.

 

Even if AimPoint was 100% accurate if it takes 3-4 mins to figure out your putt on every hole while walking across people's lines, consulting charts etc it'd become embarassing and I'd end up just "feel" putting purely to avoid being laughed at. ;)

post #10 of 397

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post

"I don't go anywhere without those things" meaning his spirit level and method to find the 6:00. I hope the AimPoint method becomes second nature enough to only carry the AimPoint charts around and be able to know green speeds based on a quick evaluation of the practice area.

 

Finding the stimp is a somewhat important thing to do, though. It's tough to develop a "feel" for that just by hitting balls around the greens.

 

However, once you know the % slope for one of the holes on your regular course's practice putting green, or you get really good at estimating slope %, you can figure out the stimp without actually measuring it.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post

I'd imagine people getting a little peeved if at every green I have to walk around the hole over their putting lines to find 6:00 and then stick a level down to find which chart to use and then decide on where I need to putt etc.

 

 

The levels are great when you're learning and training your eyes for what a 1% or a 2% or a 3% or a 4% slope looks like. But you'll get better and better at that and won't need the levels. And you can always play without the levels, but just consider that you need to self-correct the % slope based on what the ball does when you putt it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post

Even if AimPoint was 100% accurate if it takes 3-4 mins to figure out your putt on every hole while walking across people's lines, consulting charts etc it'd become embarassing and I'd end up just "feel" putting purely to avoid being laughed at. ;)

 

See John's post earlier. He addressed this very topic.

 

post #11 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

Finding the stimp is a somewhat important thing to do, though. It's tough to develop a "feel" for that just by hitting balls around the greens.

 

However, once you know the % slope for one of the holes on your regular course's practice putting green, or you get really good at estimating slope %, you can figure out the stimp without actually measuring it.

 



 

The levels are great when you're learning and training your eyes for what a 1% or a 2% or a 3% or a 4% slope looks like. But you'll get better and better at that and won't need the levels. And you can always play without the levels, but just consider that you need to self-correct the % slope based on what the ball does when you putt it.

 

 

See John's post earlier. He addressed this very topic.

 


iacas, yup that's the video I was talking about. :)

 

I have no issue with learning at all; if I did I wouldn't be attending an AimPoint clinic based on your own recommendation. ;)

 

I'm sure that over time it'll become easy enough to do as per John's post above, I just felt it worth mentioning my own worries for my own piece of mind but likewise to allow others who may feel the same to see replies too.

 

The way my mind works I know I'll end up heading to my course the morning after the clinic (or later that day) and spending a couple of hours practicing what I've learned to be able to apply it to my game asap and start getting proficient in the shortest time possible.

 

post #12 of 397
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great info.  I'll be sure to report back after my class this weekend.

post #13 of 397

OT but, I can top the $200 borrowed to go to an aim point clinic.

 

My wife paid for us to go see Erik and the Golf Evolution gang no questions asked other than, how much will it be?  f1_cool.gif

post #14 of 397

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post

iacas, yup that's the video I was talking about. :)

 

I have no issue with learning at all; if I did I wouldn't be attending an AimPoint clinic based on your own recommendation. ;)

 

I'm sure that over time it'll become easy enough to do as per John's post above, I just felt it worth mentioning my own worries for my own piece of mind but likewise to allow others who may feel the same to see replies too.

 

The way my mind works I know I'll end up heading to my course the morning after the clinic (or later that day) and spending a couple of hours practicing what I've learned to be able to apply it to my game asap and start getting proficient in the shortest time possible.

 


Justifiable concerns to be sure.

 

I carry those things when I go to work not when I go to play.

 

Estimate and measure.

 

That's what I am working on. Need to constantly improve on my ability to accurately determine direction of slope and amount of slope.

 

So when I play, my read is done before I get there or pretty darn close.

post #15 of 397

For the video about determining the stimp, what are those devices he uses?  Are they proprietary, or are they something I might be able to pick up somewhere?  I'm interested in learning some AimPoint, and the part about finding the zero line (which I think is what the first device is used for?) and then the slope seem pretty cool. 

 

I only really started reading about AimPoint last night, and now it's really appealing to the engineering/math geek side of me. 

post #16 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shindig View Post

For the video about determining the stimp, what are those devices he uses?  Are they proprietary, or are they something I might be able to pick up somewhere?  I'm interested in learning some AimPoint, and the part about finding the zero line (which I think is what the first device is used for?) and then the slope seem pretty cool. 

 

I only really started reading about AimPoint last night, and now it's really appealing to the engineering/math geek side of me. 

 

 

  1. The orange thing: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100653598/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
  2. The thing you don't need (you can use your feet - learn how at an AimPoint class): http://www.exelys.com/

 

The level is something you might want to buy anyway for your house.

 

You can also use a paint can lid and a marble in place of the second thing.

post #17 of 397
Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

The thing you don't need (you can use your feet - learn how at an AimPoint class): http://www.exelys.com/


There are also some iPhone/iPod (and I'm guessing any other smartphone with an accelerometer) apps that measure the angle of a surface, like a level. I know that AimPoint also has an iPhone app, but I'm not sure if it includes this feature. I'll ask that in the Mark Sweeney thread. 

post #18 of 397


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post




There are also some iPhone/iPod (and I'm guessing any other smartphone with an accelerometer) apps that measure the angle of a surface, like a level. I know that AimPoint also has an iPhone app, but I'm not sure if it includes this feature. I'll ask that in the Mark Sweeney thread. 



Breakmeter? I found it interesting as a novelty, but really couldn't get into using it in practice, but it's cheap and worth a try.

 

There was another app that measured the stimp, but you actually used your iPhone to make measurements. A bit awkward.

 

 

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