I've been fortunate to have an inside look at the teaching and use of aimpoint express read up close in the hands of various levels of skilled males and females and I provide my honest opinion here.
What is Aimpoint
Aimpoint in basic terms was created or first brought to light by Mark Sweeney. The idea of Aimpoint is to include science into the putting aspect of golf by assisting greatly in the reading of greens and then following a read being made using science and research to assist in picking the line to match the read.
There are several varieties of Aimpoint;
Introduction to Aimpoint which teaches the fundamentals matching Aimpoints belief and the use of a chart to match the read.
Mid-Point which again takes the fundamentals a step further dealing with longer putts.
Express Read; as used by Adam Scott and Stacey Lewis the world number one male and female is a quicker system that has no need for a chart system. It is designed to be a quick system for making a read and matching the line.
Express Read - Does it work, is it accurate?
In simple terms, Yes. I'm not associated to Aimpoint in anyway but I can say it works and I believe anyone can pick the system up quickly. I will not go into detail on the technique due to Aimpoint having to sell this product or service but the idea that greens are read using the feet over the eyes is incredibly accurate, especially on courses that are USGA greens where they have subtle breaks and optical illusions. Optical illusions don't trick the feet.
Once a read is made as a percentage slope usually between 0 and 4 then depending on the length the same amount of fingers are aligned with the hole to the high side. This varies by each person and a certain element of personal calibration is allowed in this system but people often say 'well I have smaller hands than XYZ so my read is less' but due to these people generally having shorter arms the read is similar and so the system works incredibly well.
Having watched this in use and seeing people experience this for the first time the level of reading is incredibly accurate with people generally in the first half hour predicting slope 70% accurately with this increasing at different levels. The hardest break I noticed for people to spot is 0 percent slope because we as golfers generally want to find some break.
Then picking a line using the finger technique which has minor adjustments due to various speed greens is a great way to putt. I wholeheartedly would say that people prior to Express would under read break by 30-60% or at least the perceived break by that much. It's often seen where people don't believe the line, are told to trust it and then proceed to hit a very accurate put on the trusted but I believed line.
I again agree that everyone I have seen use express read in practice and play have made more putts in the areas that matter between 0 - 12 foot or 0 to 4 meters. It's a great system and in all honesty a read and line up can take 4-10 seconds maximum. It's quick.
Are there negatives to Express Read?
It depends what you declare a negative. Here are some points that you may need to be aware of.
This system is different. Playing partners may be used to Geoff plumb bobbing, Terry doing a press-up to do a low to the ground read and Margret reading the putt from 3 sides but no body has seen someone stand facing the hole trying to feel slope in there feet, possibly with closed eyes. You will undoubtably have people question you as to what are you doing? Are you okay? Where did you learn this? But If I had anything at stake I would bet you will read greens more accurately.
It requires practice to improve. To recognise a 4 percent slope vs a 2 percent slope is quite easy but to recognise a 1 percent vs 2 percent requires training over time. The good news is that with the correct capture pace of roughly 30cm or 1 foot is that a 1 percent read will go in on a 2 percent slope as long as you are accurate to one with exception to the 0 percent slope read outside the hole.
The good thing is there is an app called Clinometer that can be downloaded for free to use your iphone or iPad as a digital spirit level for practice.
The importance of speed control.
Prior to any Aimpoint clinic I would recommend practicing putting to a level where the starting line is accurate to a respectable level but more importantly you have good pace control. Aimpoint depends heavily on the golfer controlling the pace of the putts to roll 30cms past the hole which meets the formulas to predict the break amount. Practice this element of putting and you will save time at a clinic trying to improve this.
This works, very very well. The results are instant and Adam Scott uses this system just to hit home. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to check so look there also but from me I love this system. You really must use an authorised instructor because I have heard from word of mouth several variations on this that they believe is correct but is a misunderstanding of the system. Buy cheap and buy twice or see the real deal for roughly £80-£100 for normally two hours of tuition.