One of the tricky things about reading the green is trying to determine to putts true geometry. What exactly will the putt look like on the ground based on how far I plan to hit it? After I do that, I have to determine where to aim so that geometry, first of all, shows up and secondly, crosses where the center of the hole is.
There’s always been lots of talk about visualizing the putts shape on the ground. Imagine a cup sized track that the ball will roll in is an example of such visualizations you might have heard. This type of visualization has made popular the idea of aiming at the apex of the putt. What is the apex of the putt? The apex of the putt is where the ball is the farthest away from the straight line that connects the ball and the hole. It is the point that is the highest point of a breaking putt.
Take a look at this picture and tell me if you think aiming at the apex is a good idea.
This picture was taken from this weeks most recent PGA Tour telecast which AimPoint Technologies was working and using its emmy award winning putt prediction program. I thought it would be fun to share what founder Mark Sweeney wrote regarding this picture:
“Another great example of why Apex putting doesn’t work. The AimPoint of this putt is 40 feet right of the hole, but the Apex is only 7 feet high. I hate to see where this putt would finish if you under-read it by 33 feet.”
The key thing to understand is that gravity is constantly affecting the roll of the ball and how it breaks. The only time you will ever ‘aim’ at the apex is for a perfectly straight putt. For all breaking putts, you will always aim in a different place than the apex so as gravity affects the roll of the ball, the track that you visualized will be created.
Here’s a video I did that I hope helps.
Please leave a comment below if you still have any questions and please consider sharing this post if you think others may also find it valuable.