Green-reading expert Down Under
The putting green is Mark
That’s because Sweeney has worked out why a
golf ball breaks in directions the eye can’t see
and the mind can’t comprehend.
Eight years ago, Sweeney couldn’t fathom why
putting was considered such a difficult concept
so he developed a green-reading system that
allowed him to read even the most subtle
He called his Emmy award-winning greenreading system AimPoint. Now the American,
who plays off a handicap of eight, is passing on
the knowledge to anyone who will listen.
Anyone who has watched the Golf Channel
will be familiar with Sweeney’s innovations:
the superimposed digital lines that predict
how putts are going to break and where the
player needs to aim to make the putt.
His method of reading greens is so simple and
effective that many tour players including Pa-
draig Harrington, Scott McCarron, YE Yang,
Bo Van Pelt, Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen,
Stacy Lewis and others have adopted his ideas.
A number of teaching professionals around
the world have embraced the technology so
they can teach their students the art of reading
greens. Sweeney developed the technology
almost by accident.
“It’s so hard to see because the tee box is 200ft
higher on your left and the ocean is 300ft
lower on your right and you hit the putt and it
breaks towards the tee box.
“The sense just cannot accept the fact that
downhill is towards a high part of the mountain. That’s interesting to me to see really good
players mis-read the putt the same way.
“I was watching TV and didn’t understand
why it (putting) was such a difficult concept,”
“So I thought this will be a fun problem to
solve,” said Sweeney, who has a background in
finance and software technology.
“I asked my pro and he said the more you do it
the better you get at it, which I thought was an
“I didn’t think it could be rocket science so I
started putting the pieces together and got it
working pretty quickly – better than expected.”
“What fascinated me was seeing players misread the same putt the same way.
Sweeney developed the software after watching
thousands of simulated putts on real greens.
“At Kapalua there’s a putt that for six years in
a row everybody has missed it on the left side.
There is a great optical illusion where the ball
breaks left, but your senses tell you it’s got to
“What you realise is golf greens are different,
but the putts are very similar,” he said.
“They are rolling across the same grade, the
same distance and they break very similarly.
Golf Industry Central Autumn 2012