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The basics of AimPoint green reading, explained in 30 seconds

Justin Rose is among the PGA Tour players who uses the AimPoint method.

Putting is arguably the most important skill in golf, and green reading is a vital component to that. The problem is, reading greens is not an easily acquired skill. It takes years of practice to become a skilled green reader, and even then it can be difficult to consistently get the right line.

In recent years, there has been a remedy for these green-reading woes in the form of the AimPoint method. It has been adopted by a number of pros, including Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Stacy Lewis, and to great success. The method has become more and more popular in recent years as it marries physics and feel to get a consistent read on the greens each and every time.

Erika Larkin recently posted a video on Instagram that explains the basics of AimPoint, and it does it all in a tight 30-second timeframe. Watch the video and then read below for the explanation on what she’s demonstrating.

The first step in AimPoint green reading is to feel the slope of the green. Do this by straddling your ball’s path to the hole about halfway to the hole. From here you should determine what percent slope you feel, from one to five.

Next you need to stand behind the ball and close one eye while lifting your hand so that your pointer finger is just outside the hole. Based on the percent slope you think there is affecting your putt, put up that many fingers on your hand (i.e. one finger for one percent, two fingers for two percent, etc.).

So let’s say you think there is 3 percent slope in the putt. Put three fingers up with your pointer finger just outside the hole on the right (assuming your putt breaks to the left). In this case, your ring finger will be the aim point.

Then just line up your ball at the aim point and roll it at that spot. If you judged the slope correctly, your putt should track right toward the hole.

Austin Johnson uses AimPoint to check a putt for brother Dustin Johnson at the Masters.

What is AimPoint Putting? And how does it work?

AimPoint is an express method of reading the break on a putt as you play, using a three-step system designed to help you read every putt accurately and consistently.

More than 200 tour pros have used it, and AimPoint users have amassed more than 65 professional wins between them.

Masters champion Dustin Johnson is one of the most famous examples and used the system with caddie and borther Austin Johnson to win with a record score of 20-under par at Augusta National Golf Club.
What is AimPoint? The Three Steps

Step 1: Stand facing the hole and estimate the amount of slope in your putt by using your feet to feel the slope on a scale – most AimPoint users use a scale between 0 to 6.

Step 2: Use your arm and fingers to determine where to aim your putt. The amount of slope you felt in Step 1 is the number of fingers you should hold up on that side of the hole.

Step 3: Start the putt at your chosen target at the correct pace.

How to


Use your feet to estimate the amount of slope in your putt.


Use your arm and fingers to determine where to aim.


Start the putt at your AimPoint and hit it at the correct speed. Then all you have to do is watch it go in.

How To Use Aim Point: The Drill

Jamie Donaldson (not to be confused with the Welsh Ryder Cup player) is a putting coach sought out by some of golf's biggest names, and specialises in AimPoint putting. Here, he explain exactly how it works.

Use weight distribution to gauge the slope

Stand a pace behind the ball with your feet slightly apart so you can judge which foot carries most of your weight. Focus on the horizon and feel your weight distribution. Give the amount of slope you feel a grade between one and six – two is about average. Repeat this process halfway towards the hole for greater accuracy on longer putts.

Line up your fingers to find the AimPoint

Return to your spot a pace or so behind the ball to decipher a precise point on the green at which to aim. This is done using the grade of the slope and your fingers. Stretch your arm out in front of you and hold up the number of fingers that corresponds to the grade you gave the slope. line up the edge of your finger with the hole.

Place a tee peg on your AimPoint in practice

The outside of your finger gives you the precise point where you need to aim in order to hole the putt when hit with the correct speed to go nine inches past the hole. You can place a tee peg in the ground at your AimPoint to help you in practice. Most amateurs under-read putts so you’ll be amazed at the true amount of break.

Start your putt at the AimPoint for success

Set up at the AimPoint and start your putt on line safe in the knowledge that the read is 99% accurate. Confidence in an accurate read will improve your technique because you won’t feel the need to make adjustments or manipulations during your stroke. You can learn to subtly adjust the read for different conditions at an AimPoint class.

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