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Aimpoint Express: Adjusting for Uphill and Downhill Putts


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#1 cros0x

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

I took the 2 hour Aimpoint Express clinic and itís really helped my game.

We didnít cover adjustments for uphill and downhill putts on the day. Is this covered by Aimpoint Express at all?

Iíve trauled the forums and canít find an authorative answer. People seem to have a variety of personal solutions to this.

The most popular seems to be:

If 3% or more,
for uphill putts, subtract 1%
for downhill putts, add 1%

But this doesnít cover how severe the uphill/downhill is.

My course has extremely fast greens with some severe uphill/downhill putting surfaces, so really important for me to get this right.

Thanks for any help.



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#2 dg_1983

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:18 AM

That is quite a sizable adjustment.

I use aim point express but I don't think I have a specific frame work for up hill or down hill. For sure uphill will be a tighter line and down hill a wider line but how much I think would be for you to practise and learn.

I love aim point express but it is hard to remove all elements of judgement and follow rules exclusively. There is still skill and experience involved.
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#3 4Par

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 07:08 AM

Go find slopes, drop some balls, and practice......

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#4 nevets88

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:39 AM

I think it's part of the level 2 class, or whatever is the next class after the fundamentals class. There's an extra step where you take another measurement closer to the slope. Been awhile since I've audited any of the classes so dunno if the curriculum has changed. Or take a putting lesson with an authorized instructor maybe he'll give you the 5 minute drill.

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#5 cros0x

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:13 AM

Thanks for the responses so far.

 dg_1983, on 14 May 2018 - 06:18 AM, said:

For sure uphill will be a tighter line and down hill a wider line but how much I think would be for you to practise and learn.

 4Par, on 14 May 2018 - 07:08 AM, said:

Go find slopes, drop some balls, and practice......

Just on these two comments, if adjusting can be practiced/learned, can it not be shared? I'd be interested to know what thought processes you are going through when making adjustments to the tilt % for uphill/downhill putts.

 nevets88, on 14 May 2018 - 09:39 AM, said:

Or take a putting lesson with an authorized instructor maybe he'll give you the 5 minute drill.

I'd be happy too but given the distances and costs involved here in the UK that could take a day's travel. The only reason I got to study Aimpoint is because my club ran a clinic and the instructor came to us.

I'm not even sure if there is a '5 minute drill' on this - hence the thread trying to find out if it even exists!

Edited by cros0x, 14 May 2018 - 10:29 AM.


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#6 cros0x

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:29 AM

Just to share what I've come across in various different threads discussing other Aimpoint questions:

 parthurvt, on 10 August 2015 - 09:08 AM, said:

The "rule of 3" compensates for uphill/downhill putting. Basically, if the putt is uphill and you've ready a three or greater you should reduce your read by 1. For example, if my putt is uphill and I read a 4, I would reduce that to 3. Similarly, if your putt is downhill and you read a 3 or more you increase your read by 1. For a read of 1 or 2 there is no alteration necessary.

 Exactice808, on 10 August 2015 - 07:08 PM, said:

I personally use the arm depth to compensate for up and down hill putts.  If the putt is flat my elbow is bent a 45* angle, if the putt is fast I will bend elbow to an almost 90* angle, if the putt is slow I will extend my arm almost parallel to the ground

 drewtaylor21, on 10 July 2015 - 02:09 PM, said:

2:1 ratio for downhill/uphill.  If I read 2% on an uphill putt, I'll play it 1.5%.  If I read 2% on a downhill putt, I'll play it 3%.

Aimpoint Express is a wonderful system, but even if I've checked my reads with a digital level, I can clearly see the uphill/downhill slope changes the read quite dramatically (especially as slopes get more severe).

Other WRXers above seem to be coming up with their own systems, so I can't be alone in this.

If there isn't anything 'official' within Aimpoint Express on this, I would love to know more about what other people are doing.

Edited by cros0x, 14 May 2018 - 10:30 AM.


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#7 dg_1983

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:38 AM

Just on these two comments, if adjusting can be practiced/learned, can it not be shared?

Yes but I'm not sure its a 1+1= 2 framework you are after.

I'll spare the rest of the thought process but lets assuming I've got a bog standard aim point read of 1.

Big standard down hill I'm adding a touch, bog standard uphill I'm shaving a touch off. I suppose If I was forced to I'd say that "touch" is about 0.5%

That said there is never anything bog standard.

How are the greens running today, fast or slow. I'll adjust my read "a little bit" accordingly based on my gut feel and experience within that round (have my reads been high low or spot on so far)

What's my approach here - hole it or looking for two putts? If I'm looking for 2 putts I'd "add a little bit" to ensure I'm on the high side and give myself the best chance at that two putt.

What is the wind doing? Is it going to impact how aggressive I need to be with this putt?


All in all aimpoint gives me a great starting point. My gut then takes over and I adjust if the gut says I need to, if not pull the trigger on the read.

As I said, aimpoint is still green reading, it still takes skill, feel and practise to get right. It isn't a replacement for that, it just offers another avenue than the eyes to do it.

Edited by dg_1983, 14 May 2018 - 10:41 AM.

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#8 dcmidnight

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:48 AM

 dg_1983, on 14 May 2018 - 10:38 AM, said:

As I said, aimpoint is still green reading, it still takes skill, feel and practise to get right.

This is my biggest takeaway having used Aimpoint for a couple years now. You need to practice it and use it or it becomes like any other skill.

As far as uphill/downhill, its just feel for me after a while. I kind of do a 1-4 estimate in my head depending on how much weight is in my toes or heels. Again, its just a quick thing.

If I really wanted to I would take my level and do what our instructor did in our clinic - find spots on the practice green where the slopes were a 1-4 and just practice.
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#9 cros0x

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:15 AM

 dcmidnight, on 14 May 2018 - 10:48 AM, said:

As far as uphill/downhill, its just feel for me after a while. I kind of do a 1-4 estimate in my head depending on how much weight is in my toes or heels. Again, its just a quick thing.

If I really wanted to I would take my level and do what our instructor did in our clinic - find spots on the practice green where the slopes were a 1-4 and just practice.

With the 1-4, are you talking about tilt % or 'slope' (i.e. how much uphill/downhill). If it is slope, what adjustments are you making with that information?

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#10 cros0x

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:39 AM

 dg_1983, on 14 May 2018 - 10:38 AM, said:

Bog standard down hill I'm adding a touch, bog standard uphill I'm shaving a touch off. I suppose If I was forced to I'd say that "touch" is about 0.5%

...

but I'm not sure its a 1+1= 2 framework you are after.

Yes, that is precisely what I'm after! I'm looking for a system as a starting point - that's the whole attraction of Aimpoint for me.

I have heard that Aimpoint Instructors used to teach how to adjust for uphill/downhill, but they scrapped it as Aimpoint's philosophy is that if it's not simple enough for everyone, then they throw it out.

Personally, I want all the information I can get that's been worked out by the smart people at Aimpoint.

I'll be using this model as a starting point for practice (which I've pieced together from other WRXers and my own personal experience):

Read the slope value on a scale of 1-6
(where the slope value is how much elevation change there is between the ball and hole. 1 being a 'slight' slope and 6 being a 'severe' slope)
Read the tilt % as normal
Only adjust if the tilt is 3% or more (don't adjust for 0-2% tilt)

Slope Value____Uphill_____Downhill
1-2____________-0.5%______+0.5%
3-4____________-1%________+1%
5-6____________-1.5%______+1.5%


I do appreciate the 'go out there and practice' comments, but I'd like to at least start with a tried and tested system that's been worked out and road tested.

After all, we all experience the same laws of gravity and friction affecting our putts, so we should be all making similar adjustments for uphill/downhill - it's a huge part of setting the aim.

I was hoping for more information on this in this thread. Perhaps from Aimpointers who took a clinic some time ago when they used to give information on how to adjust, or more from those Aimpointers who have developed their own systems.


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#11 dg_1983

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:20 AM

One thing that is worth sharing, after years of using aim-point i rarely have a read over 3. Most in the 0,1,2 range. My putting game travels very well in terms of green reading.

Anything over 3 needs feel, skill and experince - not a system.
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#12 finleysg

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 07:44 AM

 dg_1983, on 15 May 2018 - 07:20 AM, said:

One thing that is worth sharing, after years of using aim-point i rarely have a read over 3. Most in the 0,1,2 range. My putting game travels very well in terms of green reading.

Anything over 3 needs feel, skill and experince - not a system.

I agree. On slopes of 4-6%, especially down and across, you're just getting an estimate since there is so much variability depending on the speed you choose. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough, but on those kind of putts, I want to leave a 3-6 footer below the hole.
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#13 cros0x

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:20 AM

 dg_1983, on 15 May 2018 - 07:20 AM, said:

One thing that is worth sharing, after years of using aim-point i rarely have a read over 3. Most in the 0,1,2 range. My putting game travels very well in terms of green reading.

Anything over 3 needs feel, skill and experince - not a system.

 finleysg, on 15 May 2018 - 07:44 AM, said:

I agree. On slopes of 4-6%, especially down and across, you're just getting an estimate since there is so much variability depending on the speed you choose. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough, but on those kind of putts, I want to leave a 3-6 footer below the hole.

Very interesting posts!

My home course has 3-7% tilts on 8 greens as well as super fast greens, so I'm keen to have something to fall back on rather than completely guessing.

The greens are our course's defence, and competitions/matches are won and lost with putting here more than anything else.

We've had +3hcp and +5hcp golfers join us recently, just to practice on the greens to prepare for tournaments.

I agree that other courses I play rarely have reads above 3%, and are usually slower greens, which makes things simpler.

Maybe this explains why I'm so keen to find an extra something out of Aimpoint Express to help.

Might there be any thoughts on the system I proposed at all? (see below)

Or any other general advice other than practice? (I am heading out with my digital level just before dark most evenings at the moment!)

Read the slope value on a scale of 1-6
(where the slope value is how much elevation change there is between the ball and hole. 1 being a 'slight' slope and 6 being a 'severe' slope)
Read the tilt % as normal
Only adjust if the tilt is 3% or more (don't adjust for 0-2% tilt)

Slope Value____Uphill_____Downhill
1-2____________-0.5%______+0.5%
3-4____________-1%________+1%
5-6____________-1.5%______+1.5%


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#14 flog2

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:32 AM

does stimp get factored in at all or is it really down to practice practice practice?

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#15 dg_1983

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:42 PM

Dude! 7% reads???

When you need to use more than one hand to aimpoint it's time you realised your approach shots are garbage 😂😂😂😂

Why on earth would good players come to practise on those greens? It's not reflective of tournament golf.

Edited by dg_1983, 15 May 2018 - 12:44 PM.

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#16 cros0x

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:54 PM

 dg_1983, on 15 May 2018 - 12:42 PM, said:

Dude! 7% reads???

When you need to use more than one hand to aimpoint it's time you realised your approach shots are garbage 😂😂😂😂

Why on earth would good players come to practise on those greens? It's not reflective of tournament golf.

Get yourself down to Kent and weíll see how your 1hcp holds up here - Iíll even pay your green fee! PM for details...

You know the pros arenít playing on 0-3% slow greens, right? Thatís why we have players who play for England here.

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#17 dg_1983

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:48 PM

Dude come on.

1st up. I completely understand the pros aren't playing slow, flat greens.I didn't suggest at any point they were. I'd suggest the pace of the greens they do play on are faster than most of what the UK can offer.The suggestion of the 0-3% was merely whayost amatures would encounter.

2nd up. The pros aren't leaving themselves 7% reads all day.If they were, they'd go and practise their approach shots. Watch any tournament outside of the masters and you won't see many putts that are started THAT far outside the cup. On the rare occasion you see a pro using their aimpoint it's with one hand, not two.

3rd up. I'm not a 1, I'm a scratch. It's maintained at that level playing 2 or more tournaments a week on the all of the St Andrews Links course. I also play 10+ opens each season and compete reasonably in county events. I'm not saying I'd tear your course up, I'm just explaining my handicap situation that you wanted to challenge. Closest I've played down south would be the big course at went worth. Shot 77, didn't think that was too bad first time round blind off the tips?

4th up. + Golfers, county and national golfers or failed pros, aren't that special.

5th up. chill dude.
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#18 Shipwreck

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:04 PM

Like regular green reading, that severe of uphill or downhill will just take time and patience to learn. I know the hashtag is #makeeverything but we all know thatís a completely unrealistic thought. Itís made to eliminate your 3 putts more than anything and give you a confidence in your putting game.

By the time you reach those holes on your course that have severe slopes, you should have a good feel for how the greens are running that day. Not only can you add or subtract fingers, you can also stand closer or further from the ball to effect the amount of break.

Mark suggests no more than 18Ē on your standard putts over 6í. Maybe for severe downhill putts take another step back and use the same % you would normally, or a step forward if itís a big uphiller.
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#19 cros0x

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 04:34 AM

 dg_1983, on 15 May 2018 - 12:42 PM, said:

When you need to use more than one hand to aimpoint it's time you realised your approach shots are garbage

 dg_1983, on 15 May 2018 - 01:48 PM, said:

The pros aren't leaving themselves 7% reads all day.If they were, they'd go and practise their approach shots.

Situations can happen. You might catch an unexpected flyer and end up the wrong side of a 5%/6%/7% tilt.

Just yesterday I was going for a par 5 in two, got a bad bounce and ended up with a 6% tilt, downhill putt.

The point of this thread is to share information on how to adjust Aimpoint for uphill/downhill putts - even with reads over 3%. Yes they're rarer, but they do exist.

I get it, you're saying 'don't get in those situations', but they happen to the best of us if you're playing regularly on greens with severe slopes.

 Shipwreck, on 15 May 2018 - 03:04 PM, said:

Not only can you add or subtract fingers, you can also stand closer or further from the ball to effect the amount of break.

Good tip - thanks

 Shipwreck, on 15 May 2018 - 03:04 PM, said:

Mark suggests no more than 18" on your standard putts over 6'.

Sorry I don't follow that one - would you mind elaborating?

Edited by cros0x, 16 May 2018 - 04:35 AM.


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#20 Shipwreck

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 12:39 PM

Oh sorry. Mark Sweeney, the Aimpoint creator, suggests standing no further than 18Ē behind the ball. I was taught 1 pace which is more like 36Ē and itís taken a little bit of practice to shorten that. In the end it all comes down to the calibration. I like to get to a course at least an hour early so I can spend about 20-30 min on the green to calibrate.

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#21 cros0x

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:44 AM

 Shipwreck, on 16 May 2018 - 12:39 PM, said:

Oh sorry. Mark Sweeney, the Aimpoint creator, suggests standing no further than 18" behind the ball. I was taught 1 pace which is more like 36" and it's taken a little bit of practice to shorten that.

Great, thanks.

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#22 cros0x

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:48 AM

Just reporting back on what's getting good results for me, in case it helps anyone else looking for a starting point to make adjustments for uphill/downhill:

Read the slope value on a scale of 1-6
(where the slope value is how much elevation change there is between the ball and hole. 1 being a 'slight' slope and 6 being a 'severe' slope)
Read the tilt % as normal

Adjust tilt % as per below

Slope Value____Uphill_____Downhill
1-2____________-0.5%______+1%
3-6____________-1%_______+2%


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#23 garethw

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:19 AM






Remember, to adjust for steep downhill putts, play one value more than you feel. So on a 3 slope which is downhill, play 4.


That was cut n pasted from my Aimpoint Express Level One class notes.

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#24 fillwelix

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:50 AM

I take a little different approach, I adjust my arm length from my eye so downhill putts at 2% I essentially play it as a faster stimp at 2%, uphill I'd move my hand further away. From there it's just whatever feels right
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#25 flog2

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 04:55 PM

 fillwelix, on 17 May 2018 - 08:50 AM, said:

I take a little different approach, I adjust my arm length from my eye so downhill putts at 2% I essentially play it as a faster stimp at 2%, uphill I'd move my hand further away. From there it's just whatever feels right

isnt that against the spirit of aimpoint which is more finite?


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#26 fillwelix

fillwelix

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:32 PM

 flog2, on 18 May 2018 - 04:55 PM, said:

 fillwelix, on 17 May 2018 - 08:50 AM, said:

I take a little different approach, I adjust my arm length from my eye so downhill putts at 2% I essentially play it as a faster stimp at 2%, uphill I'd move my hand further away. From there it's just whatever feels right

isnt that against the spirit of aimpoint which is more finite?

I guess I just treat it as a faster or slower putt, and then make the aimpoint adjustment for said change in speed


Whatever works :search:
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