How a popular green-reading method helped launch this young pro into contention in Mexico
Akshay Bhatia has yet to become a household name in the world of pro golf — though you may remember reading about his impressive win as a teenager on the Korn Ferry Tour last year — but that may soon change.
The now-21-year-old is in contention in Mexico, firing rounds of 68-65-63 to trail Tony Finau’s lead by just two shots heading into the final round.
Bhatia has yet to bag a PGA Tour title, but the best finish of his young PGA Tour career came earlier this year, at a similarly tropical venue: the Puerto Rico Open. As to what’s working for him this week, he says he has a new green-reading technique to thank: AimPoint.
“It’s my first week doing it and I really like it,” Bhatia said after his third-round 63. “I’m excited, for sure. It’s pretty cool to make some more putts, speed’s been way better and just a little more confident where I’m aiming the ball, and I know my stroke’s really good and I roll it very well on a consistent basis. It’s really exciting for me just to keep figuring this out and get better and better.”
According to Data Golf, Bhatia ranks second this week in SG: Putting, gaining an average of just over two strokes per round. He’s just behind leader Jon Rahm, whose sizzling third-round 61 set a course record.
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Precision Putting Laser
So what is AimPoint? In basic terms, it’s a way of reading a green’s break with your feet by straddling the ball’s path to the hole. Once there, you estimate how much slope you feel on a scale of 1-5. Next, close one eye, and hold up the slope number of fingers on whatever side of the hole the break is on, and aim your putt to the outside finger. That’s your “AimPoint!”
The method has been adopted by a number of top pros, including Justin Rose, Stacy Lewis and Adam Scott. And depending on how Bhatia continues to perform, chances are plenty more will give it a try at some point too.