If anyone’s qualified to teach us anything about golf, it’s newly crowned PGA Champion, Jason Day. Most amateurs use their sense of sight to read longer putts, but Day suggests that you need to really feel that putting line to get a proper assessment. And he means this literally. Course designers are notorious for using optical illusions to deceive the unsuspecting, so walking the line to the putt will allow you to use touch to determine the true lay of the land.
“To be able to walk the line and feel the subtle changes of the putt, you’ll be able to make a batter decision on whether it’s uphill or downhill first, then left or right. Especially if you’re playing on Bermuda grass, it’s another way to check where the grain is going and what it’s doing up through the putt.”
As distance control is an issue for plenty of amateurs, this advice is especially apt. By feeling your way around the course, you’re far less likely to be deceived by tricks of the eye and will have a better sense of whether to hit harder or softer. But take note, it’s not always best to walk straight along the line of the putt.
“For long putts, don’t walk on your line but walk alongside of it, where you think it’s gonna go. If it’s a left-to-right putt from 20 feet, you can walk from the ball all the way to the hole. And sometimes it’s better to do, because you won’t see subtle breaks if you stand behind the ball.”
Spoken like someone who actually knows what he’s talking about. We wonder if he learned all this from feeling his way around or if Colin Swatton had a hand in it.