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BreakMaster Digital Green Reader

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The Problem With Breaking Putts
Are you hitting every breaking putt? Of course not. Not even Tour Pros get it right every time. But the more important question is: Are you ever hitting breaking putts? Or are you, like so many, saying, "Gee, I sure underestimated that break" or "I sure didn't read the break," or "Wow, that putt broke way less than I thought"?

The slope of the green is the single biggest factor in how much your putt will break on the way to the hole, but the fact is: most golfers have a hard time reading it. And why shouldn't we? Our eyes were not made for taking accurate measurements of level.


For most of the distance of your putt, the force of your putter stroke is the determining factor on how the ball will roll. But as the ball slows down on its way to the hole, the power of your stroke has progressively less effect as the force of gravity takes over. This is why the ball breaks the most as it nears the hole.  Even a small break can affect your putt and make you add another stroke.

Sometimes you think you know which way a green is going to break, but then the ball breaks differently than your eyes "told you" it should. The reason for this is that golf course designers often deceive our eyes by use of the terrain surrounding a green. Trees, bunkers, mounds and swales all play a part in these optical illusions.


The value of reading greens by plumb-bobbing with the putter has been discredited by leading putting experts. There are two reasons for this. First, most putters don't hang in true "plumb." The second reason plumb-bobbing doesn't work is that you need to be practically laying down on the green surface in order to read the rim of the cup as a horizontal line intersected by the vertical plumb line of your putter: inconvenient at best.


So
how do Tour Players find the break of a green?

Without accurate information, there are two choices: trust your memory (from previous rounds) or guess. Rest assured, Pro Golfers and Tour Caddies never guess the break. When you're on the Tour, every stroke is money.  So Pro Golfers and their Caddies take time before tournaments to make careful measurements and notations on greens and make maps in a Greens Book (like the one on the right) or a yardage book.  Then they use that Greens Book information to adjust the aim line of their putt during the tournament.

And the #1 tool chosen by Tour Pros and Caddies to measure greens is the BreakMaster Digital Green Reader.

For more information on breaking putts, click the links to read the Feature Stories below or watch the BreakMaster Tutorial Videos