Putting: Aimpoint Vs. Apex.
Apex: The start of the break. (Generally the Low-side Depending on speed)
Aimpoint: The point beyond the apex in where the putt starts to fall toward the break line. (Generally the Higher Side Based on Speed)
Reading greens (determining speed and slope in which where a putt breaks) Can be a challenging process for the average golfer. This past week at Augusta, Bubba Watson (as much as he dominated with the long ball and iron game) made the putts that truly mattered. Rarely did he miss on the low side and many putts die'd into the cup from the high side. Even if Bubba isn't conscious of the Aimpoint, he's looking beyond the apex (the point in where the putt begins to break) and allowing the putts to fall into the cup from the high side. This is paramount for putts that break and fast greens.
Even the best putters in their day Billy Casper, Brad Faxon, Bobby Locke, Ben Crenshaw seemed to take the highest line on breaking putts & tried to roll the ball exactly the right distance ... Again, they were more aimpoint versed subconsciously allowing the putts to fall on the high side. The only way to stroke a putt to the apex and have it roll into the cup is adding speed. This can be more beneficial on VERY slow greens, but even then we want to die our putt into the cup as best we can.
Without getting too technical, I have provided some pictures to give you a visualization of Apex / Aimpoint. Make some time this week (on the best local greens possible) and learn to think beyond the apex of the putt.
Remember gravity is constantly affecting the roll of the ball & how it breaks. The one time a golfer would aim at the apex is for a 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 tracking line that you visualized will be created. This allows the ball to fall on it's correct line.
Learn to correlate speed & line and in time you'll see more breaking putts drop into the cup. Get to work ;) - JJ
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