How to Use Triangulation for Reading Greens

By Mike McGetrick

What separates the good golfer from the average golfer on the putting green is the preparation, and in particular, how they read the greens. I would like to take you through a process that is called triangulation.

3 Tips for Reading the Green

  1. Number one is you start behind the golf ball
  2. Number two is you walk the low side of the putt
  3. Number three is you go behind the hole.

So let me take you through that process. When I stand behind the ball the first thing I want to identify is what is the low side of my putt. I can look and see that this green slopes from right to left, so I am going to walk the low side of the putt. Why this is important is that you get more information from the low side of the putt than you do the high side.

Reading the Green from the Low Side

It is just like if you look up at a mountain you see more detail of the mountain than you do from the top looking down. So you never want to walk the high side. When I stand here on the low side I am seeing that there is a little right to left break. Then number three, I come behind the hole, and this is usually my best read.

The reason for that is I am close to the target and second this is where the ball is starting to slow down. Right now I can see that I have an uphill right to left putt. Then I am going to walk back to the low side, I am going to stand approximately six feet from the hole, look back at the ball, and just see that right to left uphill breaking putt. Now I have the proper information to make the put.

Standing Behind the Ball

The next key is when I come back behind the ball I am going to see that this is about three feet of break, so I want to stand directly behind the ball and three feet right of the hole.

Most people stand right behind the ball to the hole and they have difficulty walking into it. So I am going to stand behind the ball, in line three feet to the right of the hole and I am going to walk in to it. Then I am going to aim my putter three feet right of the hole, get set up, and now I am just going to putt it three feet right of the hole. With the proper read and the proper speed, give triangulation and try and I promise you that you will be better at reading greens.


Category: Reading Greens
Sub Categories: Pre-Shot Routine

About the Instructor

Mike McGetrick
Mike McGetrick
McGetrick Golf Academy
4900 Himalaya Road, Building Q
Denver, CO 80249
Tel: 303-799-0870