Putting Factors We Cannot Control

Once we’ve hit our putt, there are two main factors that will control where the ball will go.

  1. The Slope of the green. This is gravity. The ball will always roll in a downhill direction.
  1. The Speed of the green. In physics, we would call this friction. The slower the green (more friction), the faster the ball will come to rest.

There are some other factors that we cannot control. On a blustery day, the wind may impact the path the ball takes. The surface texture of the greens can also impact the path of the ball. We’ve all played on bumpy greens, where the ball may change direction each time it hits a bump or imperfection.

To a much lesser effect, the shape and balance of the golf ball can impact the path it takes. Most modern golf balls are almost perfectly round and balanced. In the extreme, imagine putting a golf ball shaped like an egg. The roll will certainly be unpredictable.