AimPoint Express Putting: Golf Pro’s Green Reading Method Explained

guy holding up hand doing aimpoint express putting

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Feb 28, 2024

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Key Takeaways – Prerequisites for Aim Point Putting

  • Aimpoint requires incredible feel and body awareness to be able to master; if not, you will need a yardage book with a green slope
  • The Aimpoint Express Green reading method takes some time to learn, and you will spend many hours on the practice green before you have it down
  • Regardless of how good you get at Aim point putting, you still need great speed and the ability to roll a ball consistently off the face of the putter
  • Aimpoint putting classes are expensive as this is a very niche way of putting that can be highly effective

While flipping through the golf channel, have you seen professional golfers straddle the line of their putt, and hold up a few fingers as they look at the hole? You may have at first thought this was some strange quirk that a pro player has, but it’s not.

The Aimpoint Express green reading fundamentals system is something that is used by both amateur golfers and those on the professional golf tours. Aimpoint is a unique method, and until I tried it, I had a hard time fully understanding how it could really benefit me.

I’ll show you what Aimpoint is, how it can help, and whether or not you should give it a try in your golf game.

What Is Aim Point Putting?

Aimpoint Putting is an alignment method you can use to determine where to aim your putts. The concept behind Aimpoint golf is that as a golfer, we only can hit a putt straight. There is no way to hit a curved or breaking putt. Instead, we must read the green and aim accordingly.

Aimpoint combines the concept of feel and awareness of slope with the idea that each one of our fingers represents about one degree of slope when standing back on a line from the ball to the cup.

man practicing aimpoint express

I know this sounds a little confusing, but I’ll break it down for you fully when we get into how to use Aimpoint green reading.

Does Aimpoint Golf Work?

Aimpoint putting works well for some golfers.

However, I must warn you that this is not a magic solution for your golf game. Like most things in golf, Aimpoint is only as good as the person using it.

In addition, if you are not great at reading slope or you struggle with consistent speed, then the process of getting the golf ball into the hole will be considerably more difficult. In my opinion, Aimpoint Express works especially well when you’re a bit further out and trying to hit a lag putt.

The Most Important Factor In Aimpoint Green Reading

The most important factor in Aimpoint green reading is determining the grade. There are a couple different green reading techniques to use along with the Aim point method.

The first is to get a laser level and put it down on the green. Of course, you will only be able to use this on a practice green and not the course. Walk a few paces in from where your ball is located, and straddle the line of your putt.

Take a look at the laser level and what it indicates, and see if you can feel that change of slope in your feet and legs. Feel is tough, and it takes some time to get this down, but some players get good at it.

The other way to determine the slope or the grade is to use a green reading book; the green reading book or yardage book with the green slopes on it will give you the exact numbers you need to read the putt and pick your proper aiming point.

How To Use Aimpoint Express Putting System

The overview that I give you of the Aimpoint green reading system is something you can head to the putting green and try. However, suppose you want to develop into a golfer like Adam Scott or Justin Rose who have this method down. In that case, you will probably need to take a class specifically focusing on the Aim Point Express System and Aimpoint Putting Technique.

Step 1: Determine The Slope or Grade

The first step is to determine about how much slope you are dealing with. You will have to stand between you and the golf ball and attempt to feel the slope under your feet. As you learn the Aimpoint Express system, you will have to work on figuring out the different grade amounts. Most golf greens have slope that ranges from one to five degrees. 

When you watch the pros, you may see them rock back and forth a little and steady their feet; they are trying to determine the grade (compare this to the other popular green reading system, plumb bob putting).

Step 2: Pick Your Aimpoint

Once you have determined the grade, you can now pick your aim point or your intended line. Let’s say you have determined that there is two degrees of grade. This means that you will take two fingers, center them on the hole, and your aiming point is just on the side of those two fingers when centered.

target area of fingers to focus on for aimpoint putting

If you have a green reading book, finding this proper line is quite a bit easier. You can learn whether you aim a few degrees left or right and simply put up the corresponding number of fingers.

With the Aimpoint Express System, two fingers would be two degrees of slope or grade, three fingers is three degrees, and so on. That’s why it works out well that each of our fingers represents about one degree of grade.

Step 3: Aim To Your Point and Make Your Putt

Once you pick this point, you can make your putt and aim directly there. Of course, the tricky part is that you will need the correct speed. This is what makes Aimpoint putting not quite a magical method. In addition, you can have double-breaking putts and times when it becomes a little trickier to use this effective green reading system.

Most golfers that fully adopt the Aimpoint method will get a certified Aimpoint Express tutorial from an instructor that works with PGA Tour players and top-level golfers.

The Benefits of AimPoint Putting Method

The Aimpoint green reading system would not be used on professional tours if it didn’t have its benefits. The question is whether or not the average golfer can get the method down and make more putts.

where you should aim the golf ball when putting

I believe the answer is yes, and here are the benefits of the Aimpoint that I think will help most golfers.

A Putting Routine Is Necessary

To use the Aimpoint method, you have to have a putting routine in place. Those that created Aimpoint know the importance of a repeatable routine, and you are almost forced to do so with this method.

The time it takes to feel the slope and determine your spot shouldn’t be long, but at least you get to focus your mind on what you are doing to be able to hit the putts you want to hit.

Paying Attention To Feel Is Never Bad

As I mentioned, if you want to get great at the Aimpoint method, you need to perfect your feel. The feel of how your feet and legs are on the slope and what this will do to your golf ball. All great players will tell you that feel is what it takes to make more putts.

guy standing close to the golf hole

Not only does this new awareness of grade help in your putting, but it can make a big difference in your chipping capability as well.

Confidence In Your Aim Makes You Better At Determining Speed

Finally, there are major advantages to feeling confident that you are aiming at the right spot. Players who second guess their aim on any shot will have difficulty playing golf consistently. 

Our brains like to mess with us and have us question whether or not we are aiming properly. With Aimpoint express, this is never a concern; you learn the method and then trust the line you chose. It is a bit more structured than other methods like plumb bob putting.

FAQ – Aim Point Golf Roundup

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the Aimpoint Express putting method. If you are looking to read greens correctly, this could be a way to do it.

Is AimPoint green reading legal in golf?

Aimpoint putting is legal, and golfers on the PGA Tour are using it more and more.

How do you line up a putt with your fingers?

Stand on a line between you and the ball, determine how much slope there is, and hold up one finger for every degree of slope you are dealing with. This method gives you the exact spot you must aim to get your ball rolling toward the hole.

two finger position of man doing aimpoint

Who developed Aim Point putting?

The AimPoint putting system was developed by Mark Sweeney.

Which pro golfers use AimPoint Express?

Adam Scott is perhaps the most well-known for using Aimpoint, but you are probably seeing Jordan Spieth do it quite a bit as well. Other professionals use the putting method on certain putts, but Justin Rose uses it extensively.

Is there a specific putting style I should use when Aimpoint Putting?

While aimpoint putting, you should use whatever putting style you’re most comfortable with. If you want to try a style totally different, I’d start with the reverse overlap, the saw grip, or the prayer putting grip. Otherwise stick with one of the more conventional putting styles.

Why do golfers straddle the putting line?

Golfers straddle the putting line to get a feel for the slope and ensure that they are reading the green correctly for the Aimpoint putting method.

Final Thoughts: The AimPoint Putting Technique is Worth a Try

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to use Aimpoint Express. You can have a solid golf game with or without this method. However, I like the way you must incorporate your pre-shot putting practice routine, and you have to be a bit more thoughtful about feel in order to make these putts. That combination of skills is not bad for any golfer to adopt.

About the Author

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Last Updated Feb 28, 2024



Coach Erik actively coaches several PGA Tour Professionals. He’s the head golf instructor and writer here at Swing Yard, was voted the “#1 Golf Coach in Scottsdale, Arizona”, and has been coaching for over 20+ years. Erik also owns and operates his own online golf school, EJS Golf Academy. His other credentials include: Active PGA Coaches Membership, Titleist TPI Level 1 and 2, Trackman Certified Level 1, Dr. Kwon’s Biomechanics Level I and II, Scott Cowx Certified Level I Advanced, BodiTrack and V1 Sports Pressure Mat Certified, Titleist Club Fitting and Ball Fitting Certified, PGA Hope, and Sportsbox AI. Check out Erik’s full bio and certifications for more info.