BreakMaster Digital Green Reader by Exelys

In today’s technological age there are people who just run out and buy the “latest and greatest” product and buy whatever is considered the best. Then, there are those who comb over the details and get exactly what they what. I would be the latter of the two. So when I had a chance to review the BreakMaster I was curious to try it out. I took the time to watch the 13 minute DVD that came along with the BreakMaster to help me learn the benefits of this device before I tried it out.

Armed with the guide sheet that came with the BreakMaster, I headed out to the putting green. I noticed in the guide that the examples shown were based upon a putt breaking to the right with the arrow on the BreakMaster pointing due East, so I searched for a putt on the green that gave me this angle. I found a putt that had a 1 degree break due East and hit two balls each from 3, 6, and 9 feet away. Using the guide I placed a tee in the ground for each putt as a point of aim. I intended to hit every putt with enough speed to barely fall in the hole, but I hit all of them about a foot or so past the hole so they all stayed on the “high side” of the hole. My weakness is left to right putts so I decided to try it the other way.

First PuttI found a putt that was indicated by the BreakMaster to have a break of 1.9 degrees due West. The guide said the putt would break between 16-18″ from 6 feet away so I set myself up 6 feet away and placed a tee in the ground 17″ to the right of the hole and hit two putts.

First Putt ResultsBoth of these putts can be seen in the photo as missing the hole by 6″ and 8″ inches with the 8″ miss struck slightly firmer than the other. My first thought was that the device didn’t work correctly. Then I decided to look at the break at different points of the putt by placing the BreakMaster at two foot intervals along the line of the putt.

Second Putt At HoleSecond Putt 2 Feet AwaySecond Putt 4 Feet AwaySecond Putt 6 Feet Away In checking the angle of the putt at two foot intervals, I found variations in the putt. The angle slightly changed, according to the guide, uphill putts tend to break less and downhill putts break more.I found there was some uphill influence in the putt, which would explain why I wasn’t get the putts closer to the hole.

Third PuttFor my final test I found a downhill left to right breaking putt. The BreakMaster indicated that it was 2.8 degrees to the Northeast. I went to 8 feet away and placed a tee in the ground 30 inches to the left of the cup. After several putts I found that they were all pretty close to the hole and holed 2 out of 12 putts. Again left to right putts are my weakness.

After using the device for about thirty minutes, I got a good feel for it. Reading putts is not an exact science because there are so many variables(break, slope, speed of greens, weather, ect..). The Breakmaster is a great device for training your eyes to read a putt, and will help in getting a better understanding how a putt will roll. The DVD and the booklet go in to length on how you can use the device to map your own course’s greens, and gives an example of how to use sites such as Google Earth to custom make your own yardage booklet

The BreakMaster is legal in accordance with the USGA to use in “practice and non-competitive rounds”. The list of Professional Golfers and their Caddy’s who use this device is a virtual “who’s who” in Golf. Obviously you wouldn’t use it in your Saturday foursome, and it’s best done when you have some extra time to do it. Notah Begay states that he spends about three hours using this device to map greens. An example of which is in the manual here(near the bottom): Manual

I would highly recomend this device for people who struggle reading greens or someone who plays the same course often and wants the upper hand in reading the greens. As someone who plays weekend golf at several different courses, I wouldn’t find much of an opportunity to use this device. I will however, take this with me when I go to the practice green to help train my eyes on how to read putts.

The BreakMaster Digital Green Reader is avilable at most golf retail outlets with a suggested retail price of $79.95.

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13 Comments

  • Great Review… Sounds like it would be very useful in a practice round prior to a tournament.

  • Interesting little gadget. I think that it could be used at great length if someone played one course frequently. But it would take ALOT of work.

  • Lisa, that was the impression I got as well. If you do play the same course, or play in tournaments the BreakMaster is great in helping get that advantage on the greens. As someone who struggles reading left to right putts, this device would definitely help me when practicing these types of putts and help to learn how much break to play.

  • What a cool device. How much does one cost?

  • Great review. This is something pretty interesting since I primarily play at the same course.

  • Frank, retail price is $79.95, info added to article.

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  • What the Breakmaster is really for is mapping greens, though you can use out for training. Using one of the Breakmaster Mapping Notebooks, draw an outline of the green (use google earth as suggested in the instructional pdf, etc.. or course caddie book if they have one) onto the Mapping book. Break in up into 4-6 sections or quadrants. the more quadrants on your map the easier it will be to orientate the actual ball position & hole on the green to where it would be on your map. I use 2m quadrants, depending sometimes on the severity of the undulations on the green. If you have say a green 36m long & 25m wide. Then using 2m quadrants, I just breakup my map of the green from front to back into even distances. So if my map is say 135mm front to back, I divide by 16 (as I’m using 2m quadrants, 1/2 of 36), & so my map will have about 8.5mm quadrants or round up to 1cm, or first see how your map will best fit the page to give you more easier measured quadrants, etc.. It’s up to you how much detail you want. Because I break my maps up into smaller quadrants I literally sometimes quickly pace out the distance from the front or the back of the green to where my ball & the cup are (as one of my paces is about 1m). Though most of time you can judge pretty well where the ball & cup are on your map. But some greens are tricky & have slight variations, & the cup maybe right on a Breakaway or fall-line when you look at your map. Which in the end is what the map is all about, showing you these slight breaks that you cannot see with your eyes. So sometimes knowing the exact position of the Ball & cup on your map isn’t bad. Your long putts will definitely benefit from the maps, as instead of guessing the breaks from far away, you will see the hidden highway before your eyes, & end up being 1ft off the hole instead of 2m. Just place Breakmaster down on the green in 1m intervals or less (up to you & how tricky the green might be) to note of Fall-direction & degrees +/- & mapping the green could not be easier. How much difference does make, well I’ve gone from a 13 handicap to 7 handicap in less than 1/2 a year. That’s how many stokes you save once you know the greens because of your mapping efforts. You’ll normally only have to do this once on your home course or favourite courses. Even if you are playing at a new course in a Tournament, you can still go round the course in a Buggy say early morning before the start( or the day before if the course is close enough) & quickly map the breaks around the holes say in a 4-5m radius from the hole. As these are probably the most important breaks being near the hole. I suppose depending how keen you are. Buts it’s worth it, & makes golf more pleasurable for you & your score card. Have fun mapping, later, cheers Craig

  • Oh regarding quadrants I just draw fine grid-lines with a light pencil or clicker-pen. The outline of the green I do in pencil first then once I am happy with the Green outline I use a biro to go over it, as it will not change. Do your numbers & arrows in pencil I suggest, as you may alter them later, if you find a change or error in your mapping. If there is also a lot of undulations near the green add them in to, as when you are approaching the green from a 150m in, you’ll know there is some little hills & valleys that might help you get closer to the hole more easily.

  • I am noticing that all of the comments here are a bit dated. I bought the breakmaster and it will not work. Turns on blinks an arrow in the same spot every time with no corresponding number and then switches itself off after about 3 seconds. In trying to contact the company I can only imagine it has gone completely out of business and I’m afraid I bought what was probably the last one in the Amazon inventory. The website is down, the listed number for Exelys is defunct as well so I’m pretty much screwed on this one. I’m only posting this in the case someone is thinking of buying one of what would have to be the last few around. I tried changing the batteries and have exhausted all options. If someone gets back to me and points out that I have grossly misstated a single thing I will be happier than a pig in slop to print whatever retraction is necessary. I’m sure a functional one was great but I think this company has long gone so beware.

  • Still in business as of today (December 9, 2018). Their website is up and just talked to them on phone 747-226-3283.

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