Masters Week: What You Can Learn



This week’s Masters was nothing short of unusual.

November. Soft. Some different Sunday hole locations. (Yes, I’m nerdy enough to know when something is out of place).

But one thing that isn’t different is what you can learn from having watched this week. Especially what happened on the greens. Early on in the week, Tiger pointed out in his post round interview that, and I’ll paraphrase, “they weren’t breaking that much out there.” At least not as much as he is used to seeing.

The question though is why…

WHY DOES A BALL BREAK?

Let’s make this as easy as possible.

Slope. If the ground is tilted, a ball rolling across it will turn. But here’s one that might be a stumper:


What could make a ball that is rolling across identical slopes break differently?


THE ANSWER


Check out this video that I recently shared on my Instagram (@prestonsputting) account. We’re looking at the same length putt (5 feet) on 3% slopes.

The balls appear to break different amounts. And I can confirm that the laser is set up 5 inches outside the edge of the cup in the left video, but 8 inches outside the edge of the cup in the right video. Why do both go in?


The answer lies in the stimp, or how fast the surface of the green is.


BACK TO TIGER

Our 5 time Masters Champion is known in some coaching circles for planning on stuff he has seen before. He has seen putts at Augusta since 1995, so he's no stranger to the greens there. In fact, he probably has a pretty good idea of how they break after more than 25 years playing there. The only problem is that those notions are based on April conditions that do have a propensity to run a bit faster than the unusual November start. And, as evidenced the IG video, slower greens do in fact break less. If the player isn’t adjusting for that change in stimp, it is pretty likely that the putts will be missed on the high side.

SO WHAT ABOUT ME?


You’re probably saying to yourself, “that’s fine, but what does any of this have to do with me? I’m still waiting for my invitation to play at Augusta.”


While I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you have that opportunity some day, until then you’ll need to better adjust for the greens on your home course. While it shouldn’t be that hard to make an observation if your greens are faster or slower on any given day, there should be a strategy to effectively adapt to those changing conditions.

AimPoint Express is a green reading system that not only helps players predict the amount of break on any putt with ease and clarity, but also helps players adapt to changing green speeds.


How is that possible? Well, that answer lies in scheduling a session with me to get the whole scope of how understanding Slope and Stimp can help you lower your scores. Just like Alex realized in this video, putts sometimes break more than you think. And a system so that you don’t have to guess makes life a lot better.


Click HERE to visit my site to learn a little bit more about AimPoint Green Reading! And if you’re in Santa Barbara or Orlando (yes, you read that correctly), contact me HERE to schedule your session! Thanks for reading and remember to keep adapting to changing green speeds!

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Preston Combs, PGA Teaching Professional

6034 Hollister Avenue

Goleta, CA 93107

E-mail: pcombs@pga.com

 

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