What is your process to test green speeds before a round or when practicing?

sixdoubleo

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Before a round I will find the correct stroke for a 20,30, and 40 foot putt and make a mental note how long the stroke is for each. I'm a very mechanical thinker and having these reference strokes for known distances helps me find the right stroke during play or under pressure. So I just need to know "OK, a 20 foot putt is just inside my right instep." Then I'll factor the slope and adjust accordingly from there.

However one thing I'm finding is that the greens I've been practicing on are considerably slower than the greens I've been playing on recently and I'm blowing a lot of putts past the hole.

Currently before a round, I just make what I THINK is my 20-foot stroke and then see how long or short the balls go and then just make a mental note "OK, it's playing 2 feet faster/slower" or whatever. I'm not saying I need to know the stimp reading or anything like that, but I'm just wondering what some peoples' thought processes are are on measuring green speed and adjusting your stroke accordingly both during practice sessions and during pre-round warmups.
 

wadesworld

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I can't help on this one unfortunately. I'm completely a feel putter. I get out on the practice green, and roll some 3-footers, both uphill and downhill. Then I'll roll some long lag putts, both uphill and downhill. That's generally all I need.

You might have more feel than you think you do. If I put a ball in your hand and asked you to roll it by hand to hole 20-feet away, would you have to have a measurement of how far to take your arm back? You are a gravity and momentum expert. Try just trusting your instincts. Or try the "goldilocks" method on your practice swings. Make a practice swing that's clearly too soft. Then make one that's clearly too hard. Then it should be easy to make one that feels "just right."
 

sixdoubleo

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You're absolutely right...that would be instinctive. And I'm hoping to get there at some point with my putting. But I think I still need a few reference points to refer to so that I can develop that feel. It's a lot like the Pelz 3x4 wedge system where you have 3 reproducible reference wedge swings...7:30, 9:00, and 10:30. I sort of do the same with my putting.
 

JR

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I just putt a bit, lol. No real process. I'm a feel putter as well, I don't even really read the green before I putt.
 

JBJGolf

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I have been struggling with my putting feel lately. For some time I was able to find the "bucket" from most distances and was at most a 36 ppr player. Lately I cannot read a green break or speed to save my life! I have been working at it, hitting 50 or 60 putts before a round trying to find the feel for the speed and I just can't get it dialed in. The practice green is about 5 feet slower than the greens on the course.
 

corydotcom16

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I always hit 5 uphill, downhill, left to right, and right to left from about 20 feet. Then I start hitting putts I expect to make and always finish with putts inside of 5 feet and make 10 straight before going to the first tee. The first 20 give me the feel for the other putts I may face.
 

sixdoubleo

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Or try the "goldilocks" method on your practice swings. Make a practice swing that's clearly too soft. Then make one that's clearly too hard. Then it should be easy to make one that feels "just right."
You must watch Shawn Clement videos. ;) Yeah, that is pretty much what I do. When I'm actually playing I'm not literally thinking "OK, bring the putter back this far". In fact during my preview strokes I'm not even looking at the putter head and am executing what I think is the right stroke by feel. Like I said, they are just reference points I use during my practice and warmup so I have some common repeatable stroke to refer to...if that makes sense.
 

rollin

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I feel similar to wades. I just take few shorter ones and then mix some longer ones just to get a feel without too much over thinking.

I like to find the flattest part of the practice green as I think this gives me the best indication of speed. Too much up/down hill on the practice green imo makes for too much indecisive feelings for the speed to me. Once I hit some on the flat then I may move to go up and down hill with a few if I have the time. I also don't like to spend a ton of time either cause then it causes over thinking as well for me.
 

wadesworld

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You must watch Shawn Clement videos. ;) Yeah, that is pretty much what I do. When I'm actually playing I'm not literally thinking "OK, bring the putter back this far". In fact during my preview strokes I'm not even looking at the putter head and am executing what I think is the right stroke by feel. Like I said, they are just reference points I use during my practice and warmup so I have some common repeatable stroke to refer to...if that makes sense.
Indeed. Shawn is the man!
 

Nighthawk117a

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I start with a few 5 foot putts from all sides of a cup on the practice green. Then I move a few feet out. I then take a few from the fringe and then fire a few across the green. If the practice green is sloped I'll put some uphill and down hill putts. I'll also find the most severely angled part of the green to see how much break there is and to see how much speed vs break to play.
 

GreekGodX

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I just imagine how I think the ball will roll into the hole. Then putt on that line. I think Wade hit the nail right on the head and that is what I go through during my putting routine. As far as speed, the practice greens are never a good indicator IMO. People are on those way more than they would be on a regular hole.
 

sixdoubleo

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Indeed. Shawn is the man!
Agreed! And he always does this thing...."OK...and what did that stroke feel like? Oh yeeeeah...that one!" ;) Even though Shawn is very much feel and instinct oriented, the idea of having three reference strokes came from his DVD series actually.
 

drp3434

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I'm also more if a feel putter. I usually just figure out the stroke needed for about a ten foot putt on a flat line and that gives me all I need to know.

Give it a little tappy, tap tap taparoo!
 

Paladin

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Before I head out, I try to take a handful of putts with what I think is my standard 6' putt, and see how far past 6' they go.

The problem is how much faster the greens get after they've been in the sun for a couple of hours. Here it's like night and day, except it's more like 8 to 10 in the morning when they go from reasonable to sidewalk.
 

JonD

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I generally just take a bunch of varying length putts to get the speed down. I find that looking at the hole helps me adjust quicker. After I feel like I've got a feel for it, I play a handful of targets exactly as I'd play them on the course. Go through my whole routine on each putt, and keep putting until I hole out, with my goal being nothing over two putts. I feel like this gives me a pretty idea of how they'll roll on the course.
 

Rageshadow

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I don't really worry about speed on the pratice greens, I normaly just try to read the lines there and get a feel for hitting them because the courses I play the real greens are always faster.
 

oiler3535

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If I only have a few minutes, I'll go on the practice green, and put down as many balls as there are pins to shoot at. Then I'll go at each with one ball, trying to go between long and short holes as much as possible. If I have more time, I'll do a drill I've heard a few times, and actually had GMac tell me on Twitter he does first when at a new course; I'll put 2 clubs on the ground (flat spot if possible) 12 feet apart, and put a tee or two in the ground a foot in front of each club (so it goes club, 1 ft, tee, 10 ft, tee, 1 ft, club). I'll practice getting past the tee but not hitting the club; if I can do it consistently and still have time left, I'll go from 12 ft to 20 ft and try from there.
 

TheDoctor

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I will spend a small amount of time on a practice green before a round, but never too long as I tend to find the majority of practice greens are never anything like the actual course greens and I am more of a 'feel' putter

The one thing I do tend to do though is to watch others in my group putting whenever they are putting before me as I find that does help me gauge the speed on the greens
 

drp3434

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If I have more time, I'll do a drill I've heard a few times, and actually had GMac tell me on Twitter he does first when at a new course; I'll put 2 clubs on the ground (flat spot if possible) 12 feet apart, and put a tee or two in the ground a foot in front of each club (so it goes club, 1 ft, tee, 10 ft, tee, 1 ft, club). I'll practice getting past the tee but not hitting the club; if I can do it consistently and still have time left, I'll go from 12 ft to 20 ft and try from there.
I like that one. Good idea GMac.

Give it a little tappy, tap tap taparoo!
 

J4U

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I like to take a few long, med, short putts before heading out as well. However, have to agree that most of the time the practice green is not in direct correlation with the course as far as speed goes. I akin myself to somewhat of a feel player, just need to get more of the making the putt feeling than the alternative.
 

bogeybrain

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I never make the same putt twice practicing. I take one ball , start from the fringe and putt to the closest hole. From that hole I putt to the next hole and so on. My feeling is that I'm not going to have the same putt twice so don't practice the same putt , it's more of a feel session . At my club there is usually 6 practice holes on the green , I try to make it around in 12 or less putts. If I 3 putt one I go back to the beginning. I don't know if that would work for anyone else but it's the best way for me to practice
 

Fourputt

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I can't help on this one unfortunately. I'm completely a feel putter. I get out on the practice green, and roll some 3-footers, both uphill and downhill. Then I'll roll some long lag putts, both uphill and downhill. That's generally all I need.

You might have more feel than you think you do. If I put a ball in your hand and asked you to roll it by hand to hole 20-feet away, would you have to have a measurement of how far to take your arm back? You are a gravity and momentum expert. Try just trusting your instincts. Or try the "goldilocks" method on your practice swings. Make a practice swing that's clearly too soft. Then make one that's clearly too hard. Then it should be easy to make one that feels "just right."
Yep, me too. I have no idea where the putter stops on my backswing, just know what feels right. It changes so much with different slopes that trying to be mechanical would just be confusing for me. I try to hit both uphill and downhill putts on the practice green to get some feel for how the slope affects speed, but that's about it.
 

Agent Jay

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I'm like a lot of you as well. I'll usually start with some small short putts from four sides, up, down left, right (B, A, start lol) from about 3 to 5 feet. Then I'll move back a few feet and do the same. Then move back to about 10-15 feet for a few, out to some lag areas...then end with some positive reinforcement at 3-5 feet. I try not to hit to many in general, maybe 3 to 5 a spot. I tend to get bored practicing my putting for to long of a time, and then I find myself not concentrating anymore. Once I feel myself doing this, just hitting a ball in a general direction towards the hole, it's time to stop. That obviously doesn't translate well to the course.
 

Hawk

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I putt to the fringe from a distance a handful of times usually. I've never really had much of an issue. Maybe the greens around here are close enough in speed that it usually doesn't matter.
 

oiler3535

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I will spend a small amount of time on a practice green before a round, but never too long as I tend to find the majority of practice greens are never anything like the actual course greens and I am more of a 'feel' putter

The one thing I do tend to do though is to watch others in my group putting whenever they are putting before me as I find that does help me gauge the speed on the greens
My course is like this. In fact, none of the greens on the course are the same speed. I mainly practice so that I have a good feel for my swing before I start. Then I'm with you, I hope to hit the best approach shot so I can watch some putts first.
 

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