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Most golfers will tell you they would do virtually anything to hole more putts.
Whether that’s a new piece of equipment, a different technique on the greens or even something superstitious, most of us have tried it all.
If someone told you that there was a method that over 200 professionals use, with some of them swearing by it, you’d expect most amateur players to jump at the chance to try it.
AimPoint Express is exactly that method, but are rank and file amateur players rushing to use it? From an anecdotal point of view at least, not exactly.
Perhaps it’s something to do with recent PGA Tour winner, and one of the method’s biggest proponents, Keegan Bradley.
A video that circulated in early 2022 showed Bradley missing a putt after using the method, some would say incorrectly, and people were unimpressed, to say the least, with his routine.
Fast forward a year and the 37-year-old is now a six-time PGA Tour winner and he credits the method with taking his game to the next level. He said after his victory at the Travelers Championship that every time he stands over a putt, he feels like he’s going to make it. Sounds good, right?
The likes of Dustin Johnson, Lydia Ko and, perhaps most famously, Adam Scott, have also taken the method on tour, and they’re all former world No.1s who have won majors.
So, when I went for a taster session with Kenny Monaghan, one of Scotland’s AimPoint Express certified teachers at Stirling Golf Club, I went with an open mind. Besides, if it helped me hole more putts, then it was well worth giving it a try.
Here’s some of what I learnt over a one-hour session on the putting green.
It’s not rocket science
In a nutshell, AimPoint Express is this: golfers feel the side-slope of a green with their feet. From this feeling, the player then gives the slope a number, usually between one to four. Then, the player picks a start line (or aim point) for their putt. To pick a start line on putts outside around six feet, golfers start to introduce arm bend. That’s the part where players take their hand in front of their eyes. One finger means a slope value of one, two fingers is a value of two, and so on. The point beside the last finger you hold up is your aim point.
The full breakdown of this is in the magazine, but that’s the basics. Not as complicated as some might think.
Don’t believe everything you read about it
Contrary to what some people might think, you don’t need to be a mathematician to start using AimPoint Express.
As Kenny explained during the session, there’s no adding, subtracting, or knowledge of percentages needed to put it in play. If you see someone getting the calculator out, they’re doing it wrong.
It’s never going to be 100% accurate
This might be the most important thing to know about AimPoint Express. Like anything in golf, there’s always going to be variables. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it.
Throwing up a piece of grass to test the wind isn’t an exact science, but that doesn’t stop anyone from doing it. Using AimPoint Express won’t make you hole every single putt, but what it does is give you confirmation over what most of us will be able to see from a conventional read.
It shouldn’t take any longer than a conventional system
Much of the ire around AimPoint Express comes from people saying it takes too long, but if done correctly, that won’t be the case.
To get an AimPoint read should take no longer than 15 seconds, a much shorter time than most players will use to get a more traditional read of their putt. AimPoint Express isn’t the cause of slow play, it’s those who use it incorrectly that cause frustrations.
Like most amateur players, I tend to under-read putts
This wasn’t a huge shock to me, but it is something I’ve taken to the course since the session. Kenny correctly identified that on mid-range putts, I would tend to not play enough break.
Instinctively, I’ll then hit the putt harder to counter that, but that leads to the ball going too far past the hole when it doesn’t go in.
It’s helped me hit better putts, even when I’m not using the system
I’m not saying that I’m a fully converted user of AimPoint Express, if I was going to put it in play all the time, I would go back for another lesson with Kenny, but it has helped me see putting in a different way.
On short putts, I’ll feel break with my feet and although it’s usually just confirmation for what I saw from behind the ball, it helps me hit putts with more conviction. Also, on longer putts, I’m playing more break and leaving myself more tap-ins.
It might not be for everyone, but there’s a reason the best in the world are turning to AimPoint Express. If you’re struggling on the greens, it might be worth a shot.
Kenny Monaghan is the head professional at Stirling Golf Club and one of several AimPoint Express certified teachers in Scotland. To learn more about his coaching, head to kennymonaghangolf.co.uk.
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