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Do amateurs over read or under read breaks on putts? (poll)


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  1. 1. Do amateurs over read or under read breaking putts?

    • over read
      7
    • under read
      21
    • they are all over the place over and under reading equally
      34
    • over read slow greens and under read fast greens
      7
    • over read uphill and under read down hill
      5
    • over read fast greens and under read slow greens
      3


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Do amateurs over read or under read breaks on putts? The old saying is "you missed it on the pro side"=read too much break or "amateur side"=didn't give the putt enough break. But now, I see it's popular in golf magazines to say that amateurs are reading too much break. From personal experience, I believe I started by not giving enough break (when I first played golf), but now I read too much break.
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I voted over read, and over read long,short.

My last round I putted 29 times.  Thats with 8, 1 putts.  The only thing I changed was inside right, inside left.  Played no larger break than that regardless of what it looked like.  Also shortened my back stroke and lengthened my follow through.  Best putting round Ive had.

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I think they are all over the place. The problem with trying to quantify it, is that an average player probably doesn't putt consistently enough to tell. I've seen plenty of guys who seem to play about the right amount of break, but then hit it 10 feet past, or 10 feet short, so we'll never really know how close they could have been. Personally, I think I'm pretty good, but I usually err on the high side if I don't think I have a good change to make it. My thinking has been that if It doesn't go in, as it slows down, it will only get closer to the hole instead of running away form it.
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Oddly, in a very small study I did watching golf one day, pros missed on the low side of the hole twice as often as on the high side.

http://thesandtrap.com/b/the_numbers_game/network_tv_golf_coverage

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I believe Peltz's research showed most am's under read, but I feel that most go about reading putts poorly, and speed control is even worse, so if speed was better then fewer would be low. I know speed is part of the read, but watch newer golfers, low putts finish just by the hole and high ones well past. I feel new golfers should emphasize long putts in practice.
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As with all "comparisons", I'm sure the table sways in favor of one over the other, as nothing in this world is perfectly balanced. I personally leave more of my putts short than I do long. Therefore I went with the "all over the place" because I believe it's some of both.

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I voted under read not because i always miss on the low side, but because i have the bad habit of playing the break 5 feet in front of the hole and not paying any attention to the first 5 feet in front of my ball.

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Originally Posted by uttexas

Do amateurs over read or under read breaks on putts?

The old saying is "you missed it on the pro side"=read too much break or "amateur side"=didn't give the putt enough break. But now, I see it's popular in golf magazines to say that amateurs are reading too much break.

From personal experience, I believe I started by not giving enough break (when I first played golf), but now I read too much break.


I don't think you can say anything definitive about it.  There are many levels of amateur play, and a lot of amateurs have nearly as much game as a tour pro.  The typical mid to high handicapper may under-reads putts more often, but good putters at any level will over-read breaks as often as they under-read them.  Often the appearance of under-reading can come as a result of just not putting enough pace on the ball too, so that can be attributed to under-hitting, not under-reading.

My tendency is to under-read left to right putts, and over-read right to left putts, but it's only a tendency, and far from being an absolute.

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I don't agree with David Peltz's putting method, but he research and data is very thorough.  If he says amateurs under read break then that is the view I am running with.

As for the poster who is putting only inside left / right - I wish I had your greens. I can get a foot of break on a 5 foot putt where I play, driving me crazy sometimes.

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I have kind of given up on reading greens, I find that my initial impression is almost always more correct then anything I glean from getting down and looking at the green at multiple angles. So I look like an idiot doing it, it slows the group, and it often hurts me more then it helps.

Bascially, I don't know how to read greens so... I don't I just go with my gut. If I learned how to read greens that might change.

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I wouldn't say that the amateur is clueless. They're just not accurately able to read putts with the right touch on speed. For myself, I usually have the right line. My speed is what will miss putts. I'm either strong or soft, but generally start out on the right line.

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