• Alistair Tait

Reading Greens Isn’t Rocket Science

Updated: Mar 30

Let me be completely upfront right from the off: I have no issues with the AimPoint method of reading greens. However, I fear it might not be allowed much longer the way some tour professionals are using – perhaps abusing is a better word – the system.

I don’t use AimPoint, but I play with others who do. Fortunately, they use the system correctly. They go through the three steps the system requires, and take their putts well within the 40 seconds as recommended in the Official Rules of Golf. As I’ve written previously, too bad Rule 5.6B is only a recommendation and not a hard and fast rule. Maybe then those tour pros who somehow need an eternity to hit a 10-foot putt would do so a lot quicker.

As noted on Twitter by @TheDivotTeeGolf during the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club, tour players and their caddies straddling the line of their putts three, four times, is a hard watch. The example @TheDivotTeeGolf highlighted showed Keegan Bradley straddling the line of a 10-foot putt four times. His caddie straddled it twice.

Bradley missed the putt.

The R&A and USGA did the game a great favour by allowing green-reading books to be banned in competitive rounds. Watching tour players make library trips before they could even place their hands on the putter was frustrating. However, it seems the time some took to read those infernal books has been transferred to the AimPoint method.

I still remember the frustration of fans at the 2016 Curtis Cup at Dun Laoghaire watching players straddling the line of long putts numerous times. Problem was, many went through the more conventional method of looking at the line from both sides, and then used the AimPoint method too, sometimes straddling a 20 foot putt five, six times. It was interminable.

The governing bodies surely have to be looking at the antics of the AimPoint abusers and wondering if they should take action.

Of course, PGA Tour officials could do spectators a favour if they would just take a harder line on slow play. Did I just write that? Ha, ha, ha. Imagine a player on the PGA Tour being penalised for slow play.

If only.

Hopefully the minority of tour tortoises taking the you know what with AimPoint don’t force the governing bodies to act and ruin it for everyone else. Maybe the tortoises need a wee AimPoint reminder of the three simple steps required to use the system. Maybe they could play with some of my playing companions to see how easy, and quick, the system is to use.

Reading greens isn’t rocket science. It just seems that way for some.

#JustSaying: “Half of golf is fun; the other half is putting.” Peter Dobereiner

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