Here are some tips on reading greens better along with some tips and drills I personally do when I go practice my putting. Yesterday afternoon I went out to Bayou Oaks at City Park to practice my putting and made a short video of what I do that I truly believe will help you putt better.
These are the following tips in the video: Reading Greens, Green Speed, Distance Practice, and Putter Path Drill.
Reading Greens: When it comes to reading greens the best method is to look at the hole, then a foot left and right to see the slope. If you do not see any slope look another foot out to each side and so on. The way to practice doing this is to put a couple of balls on the left and right of the hole a foot apart. In the video, I use 6 golf balls, 3 on each side. Whichever side is higher shows you the way the ball will break. You can take this a bit further and put balls out halfway between you and the hole to the left and right of your putt line. This trains your brain to see the height difference so out on the golf course you can see this without the golf balls there.
Green Speed: This is probably the one thing I do most. Especially if I only have enough time to hit a handful of putts before a round of golf. Find a spot about 10ft - 15ft off the fringe of the green, I prefer slightly uphill, then hit your putts to the fringe trying to get the ball only 1 - 3 inches on to the collar. If you hit the putt hard enough to get over the lip of the fringe and stop within that 1 - 3 inch zone then you have the speed and out on the course, your putts will go 4 or 5 inches past if you miss a putt.
Distance Practice: It is hard to see in the video but I put out four tees in the ground to mark off 3ft, 6ft, 9ft, and 12ft. I am picky about doing this in certain increments but you can do any measurements you want. Some may do it in 5ft increments. The purpose of practicing this way of training myself so when I look at a putt I know how far and what my stroke should be when I know the speed. I sped up this drill for the purpose of the video but I normally hit 3-5 golf balls from each spot not moving on to the next until I holed all of them. What I mean is if I hit my first putt from my 3ft spot in the hole and miss the second one I go retrieve both balls and start over until I hole all consecutively before moving on.
Putter Path Drill: This is a drill I use often when practicing to maintain my putter path through impact. I set up two tees, one just outside the toe and one outside the heel of the putter. Put the ball just ahead of the tees on the side of the target you are putting to. I only use two tees, not 4 or 6 as many instructors would tell you, because not everyone has the same stroke. Some it is like an arc, like mine, some make a loop, etc... as long as you can get the putter between the tees at impact you are squaring the putter up to your intended line and making a good putt on the ball.
I hope these tips help you to putting and reading greens better out on the golf course.