The PGA Championship at Valhalla will prove to be a very difficult test, as the world’s best players compete in the year’s final major.
The length and demand for accuracy the course requires will be difficult enough, but combine that with the newly redesigned greens and players will have their work cut out for them.
When the greens are major championship speeds, the slightest change in slope will cause your putts to break. Many times, these subtle changes are undetected by even the most trained eyes.
But what do you do when your eyes aren’t giving you the answer as to which way the putt breaks on a fast green?
Here are some tips to help you control speed and read those subtle breaking putts:
• Master speed control. First and foremost, you must develop an ability to control the speed of your putts if you expect to be able to read greens effectively. Control your speed on the greens by maintaining your rhythm and tempo and using the size of your stroke to adjust for varying distances. It is also important that you hit the ball on the sweet spot of the putter to develop a consistent feel.
• Find the straight putt. Every hole location has at least two straight putts: one uphill and one downhill. By finding these putts you can at least estimate which direction the ball will curve. For example, when you find a straight uphill putt, most locations to the right of the uphill putt will result in a right to left breaking putt. Most putts to the left of the straight uphill putt should curve left to right. Instead of trusting your eyes to find the straight putt, use your feet by walking around the hole, paying attention to whether it feels like you’re walking up or downhill.
• Pick a line and trust it. How many times have you gone through the process of reading a green only to feel uncomfortable to the point that you change your line at the last second before making your stroke? Having this feeling is quite normal, but it's important that you step back and readjust your intended line before hitting the putt. Use a line on the ball to aim at your target for extra reassurance.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your putting, click here.