Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AimPoint Express Read Review

A few months ago, AimPoint creator Mark Sweeney discovered a new method to use AimPoint and dubbed it ‘AimPoint Express.’ Here’s a short video from an AimPoint instructor demonstrating the AimPoint Express method.



I toyed around with AimPoint Express when it was first revealed. Even though I did not fully understand it, I was having some good success using the method. This past weekend I finally went to AimPoint instructor, David Graham, at the Marriott Golf Academy in Orlando (the old Faldo Institute, right down the road from Sea World and across the street from Grande Pines). I was fully coached in AimPoint Express and spotted some of the parts where I was executing the method incorrectly and had a lot of questions answered.

What is AimPoint Express?

Without giving too much away, it’s a quicker version of using AimPoint that does not require the use of the AimPoint charts. The method came about when Mark started working with junior golfers that were trying to use the AimPoint methodology without using the charts.


Are the charts still valid?

Yes, very much so. The AimPoint Express is just a different option. The general consensus is that for the most accurate reading, the chart should be used. But, the AimPoint Express is extremely accurate in itself. It just gives the golfer an option to use AimPoint if they find the charts a bit too cumbersome to use. Personally, I plan on using Express on every read possible except for double breaks because I’m generally very good and quick at reading double breaks using the chart.


I have gone to an AimPoint clinic and I think I have the idea of how the AimPoint Express works, can I just use it?

I would recommend that you need to either go to an Express clinic or get another lesson on Express. The very foundation of reading the slope is more or less the exact opposite than what you find in the mid-read AimPoint method. There are also nuances to AimPoint Express depending on the green’s stimp, types of slopes and location to the hole that alter how the Express method is performed.


I kinda get the idea about the AimPoint Express, but given people’s body’s and arm lengths are different, how can this really be accurate?

This is another important reason why getting an Express lesson or going to an Express clinic is needed. There’s a simple practice methodology that takes all of less than a minute to figure out how to accurately perform the Express method regardless of person’s size.


Can I still use the charts with the Express method?
Sure. In fact, Russell Knox and his caddie Bradley Whittle use a combination of the AimPoint Express and Mid-Read methods at the Honda Classic where Knox, typically a below average Tour putter, finished with 0.852 strokes gained – putting for the tournament. .


Is it really that easy?

Yes, it is. In fact, it is almost unbelievable how easy it is. The difficult part for me was getting used to the different methodology of feeling the slope. If anything, it’s just because it was different from the way we determine the slope on mid-reads and I had to get used to it. But, I think the biggest advantage that the Express method has over the mid-read is the golfer can more easily determine where exactly they have to aim. For example, using the charts you may get a reading of 7 inches outside the cup. The difficult part is figuring out where 7-inches outside the cup is from your perspective. With the mid-read, it eliminates that estimation and you can spot a precise spot to where you want to aim at.

In essence, I think it is a real game-changer.

I would like to thank AimPoint, David Graham at Marriott Golf Academy (www.marriottgolfacademy.com) and Justin Blazer for their help with understanding AimPoint Express. Justin Blazer is also a certified AimPoint Instructor who teaches the Express method. He is now teaching at Duran Golf Club in Melbourne, Florida (www.durangolf.com).









3JACK

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