A quick guide to the Green-Lining Principle
A blog around the principles of green-lining and how to improve your own practice.
The Green-Lining Principle (GLP) is a technique that I have been developing over the past year or so, in order to help students make their putting more consistent. It is primarily a method used to line up putts, but also includes other important aspects of putting such as distance control, speed and reading greens.
The GLP has been developed through my own personal research and experience in helping students with their putting. It has now become a key component of my teaching philosophy and is something that I use on a daily basis with all golfers from beginners to tour professionals.
It’s only a game. But it’s the one that matters to you. And I’m here to make you better.
I’m not here to entertain you. I’m not here to sell you a product. I’m here to help you be a better golfer. That’s my mission statement. It’s relatively simple, and I stick to it as best as I can.
In this blog, I will be writing about my thoughts on golf instruction and golf improvement, focusing on the green-lining principle – what it is, how it works and how to improve your own practice in order to shoot lower scores and have more fun on the course.
The “green-lining principle” is my name for a concept that has existed for many years under various names: the putter path, the proper stroke, the outside-in stroke, etc., but that remains relatively unknown and misunderstood by most golfers despite its proven effectiveness at helping golfers of all levels improve their putting.
The Green-Lining Principle explains how some people are able to make more putts than others. If a ball is struck perfectly on its equator, it will travel straight and true. Putts that are not hit perfectly but still manage to find the hole roll there by a combination of luck and chance. The Green-Lining Principle states that those who consistently find the hole are better at lining up their putts than those who do not.
This effect is most evident in golfers who play sparingly. Often, these infrequent players can make a greater percentage of putts when they do play because they do not practice as much and thus have lower expectations for themselves. When they do manage to find the bottom of the cup, they feel confident enough to line up their next putt with the same precision, which often results in another made putt, thus perpetuating the cycle. More skilled players tend to dedicate more time to practice and have higher expectations for themselves, so when they miss a putt they become frustrated and angry and then subconsciously compensate for their mistake by aligning their next putt even worse than before. This can create a downward spiral of negativity that can be difficult to overcome without help from outside sources such as deep breathing exercises or playing music
If you have ever been on the putting green of your local club and seen a golfer line up their putt in one direction, take a practice swing and then hit the putt in completely the opposite direction you are probably witnessing the Green-Lining Principle.
The Green-Lining Principle relates to the way that we aim our putts. Most golfers aim their putts in some way by looking at where they want the ball to go, imagining a line from the ball to that point and then using this line as a guide to where they want their putter head to be pointing. If you watch any professional golfer on television playing on a well manicured green they will almost always use some kind of alignment technique to ensure that they are aiming accurately. Many golfers stand with their feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to this imagined line or some variation thereof. For experienced golfers who have practiced this technique it is an extremely effective method for ensuring accurate alignment. However for golfers who are not so experienced, it can be less effective and actually cause them to aim significantly off line.
Being able to accurately read greens is a skill that takes many years of experience to develop but there are shortcuts that can help us along the way.
It’s no secret that putting is the most important skill in golf and many great putters have become tour winners on the strength of their short games. One such player is Tom Watson, who won 39 times on the PGA tour and 8 majors. He is also one of the best putters in history and has used a technique called ‘Green-Lining’ to help him read greens and stroke putts.
What is Green-Lining?
Tom Watson learned how to use green-lining at an early age but it was his famous coach Stan Thirsk who helped him perfect the technique. Green-lining is seeing a ‘line’ on the green which helps you define the break of a putt as well as its speed. The line you choose can be anything you like, it could be a crack in the putting surface or a shadow from a nearby tree for example, but usually it will be something man made like a seam between two different types of grass or maybe a divot mark.
The key thing here is to try and make the line as straight as possible so that it gives you maximum information about the break of your putt. Once you have selected your line you need to try and extend it past your ball towards the hole and then beyond
The Green-Lining Principle
Green lining is the term used to describe the imaginary line created between a player and the hole on a putting green. The line is most commonly used as a guide when deciding upon putting strategies, such as choosing putter or club selection, or to decide whether or not to use the flag stick when putting. The imaginary line can also be used to help with alignment, as well as being useful for teaching about visualisation and focus.
The green lining principle is an effective tool that can be used by all golfers and coaches, from beginners through to elite players, whatever standard of golfer you are. All you need is a club, your ball and a hole!
So how does it work?
The imaginary green-lining principle has been known for many years by professional golfers, elite amateurs and those who coach them. It is simple in nature but highly effective in practice. It works by using an imaginary straight line connecting the ball to the cup on any given putt. The line can be created on any putt of any length at any time, although it will be more accurate and easier to create over shorter putts where there is less break.
It helps with decisions on:
1) club selection (
When I started playing golf, like many people, I did not have the luxury of practicing on a putting green. When I could get to the practice green, it was often full of people and I found myself waiting in line or putting so quickly that I didn’t have time to think about what I was doing. To solve these problems, I decided to invest in a putting mat.
Practicing on a putting mat has many advantages over practicing on an actual green. First and foremost, you always have it available to you. You can practice whenever you want to and for as long as you want to. There is no one else there, so you don’t have to worry about waiting in line or other people distracting you from your focus. Another advantage is that it allows you to practice at home where you are most comfortable and relaxed which makes practicing more enjoyable and effective.
The problem with most putting mats is that they only allow you to practice putts from one distance which does not accurately mimic the real world situation of having putts of different lengths all over the green. If all of your practice comes from one distance then when you find yourself on the course with putts of varying distances, you are much more likely to misjudge the length of