By Geoff Mangum

To read greens better, we’ll start with an approximate understanding of how green speed, slope, and distance make break…followed by a direct engagement with the green surface and distance with the instincts for a more accurate adjustment of the starting read.

Math Approximate Reading

When there is only one slope from ball to hole, the surface is flat but tilted, and basic math and physics indicates the approximate break.

For instance, 1% slope on normal green speed of 9.5’ to 10’ Stimp breaks about 1/2” per foot (4.2 cm per meter). 2% breaks about 1” per foot (8.4 cm), 3% breaks about 1.5” (12.5 cm), and 4% breaks about 2” per foot (16.7 cm) — with “break” measured from the center of the cup straight uphill.

Read the rest of the article in this month’s Monthly Handicap Improver at!