With the NCAA Tournament ending recently, we saw two defensive-minded teams in the final game. Texas Tech and Virginia played defense with different philosophies, but were well schooled in their method. When possessions were critical, they could buckle down and depend on the basics they had worked on in practice. It reminded us of one of those smart sayings in sports, “defense travels.”
The saying “defense travels” comes from the logic that defense in sport is effort-driven, where offense requires skill, luck and other things to go your way.
While there’s no offense and defense in golf, we’d like to put forth that the one skill you can train to always be with you is putting. Putting is a repetitive motion controlled just under your eyes and doesn’t require the strength, flexibility, and timing of hitting 350-yard drives. Best of all, a sound putting stroke can put in the best position no matter what the conditions.
As a golfer, one of the things that can throw you off is when the putting green you are used to changes. The first time to putt on a Poa Annua green in California can be an eye-opener if you’ve never played on anything but Bermuda. However, if you’ve been honing your putting stroke with a training aid like the 100% Pure Stroke® Putting Aid, you’ll at least have a chance of conquering the new greens.
That’s probably one thing we hear a lot – I went to so-and-so golf course and the greens completely threw me for a loop. Trusting in your stroke and that your fundamentals are correct is key. If contact is not square, it doesn’t matter what you are putting on.
If you have been practicing with your the 100% Pure Stroke® Putting Aid and feel good about your putting, here are some advanced tips for the major types of putting grass. Just make sure as you tackle new courses that your putting fundamentals travel with you!
The most common putting green grass in the United States, you are most likely familiar with Bermuda. Our best tip for Bermuda is to look at the hole. Typically one side or portions of one side will look damaged or just have a hint of brown. For instance, if the hole looks perfect on the right and browned/damaged on the left side, the grain will push your ball left. This is a telling sign of which way the grain grows on the green – always toward the more damaged side of the hole. This will help immensely on medium-range putts.
Creeping Bent Grass
We all enjoyed Tiger Woods’ 2019 Masters Tournament win. Augusta National was beautiful as always, and one reason is their immaculate Bent Grass greens. Bent Grass is typically found in cooler climates – which means Augusta pours an amazing amount of resources keeping the greens amazing in the humid summers of Georgia. Bent Grass is a golfer’s best friend, especially if the putting stroke is solid. The blades of grass are not as strong as Bermuda, which means that they won’t normally push a putt off line. It provides a very true roll. Because the roll is true, it’s even more important to focus on the intended line and the contact that the 100% Pure Stroke® Putting Aid refines.
If you’ve never played on Poa Annua, get ready for an adventure. The grass can sometimes have different colors and textures that make reading the greens a real tricky venture. Poa Annua also changes throughout the course of the day, rolling as smooth as Bent Grass in the morning and then growing tiny buds at the top throughout the day. These little flowering elements at the top of the glass blades can knock your ball offline with the same effect as heavy-grained Bermuda. Poa Annua is a bit of a roller coaster ride and can change from green to green and from the start of the round to the end.
The best thing you can do is trust one of the senses you may not typically use first when reading greens. Trust your feet. Feel the break and the lean of the green in your feet. Let that be your guide, instead of trying to make sense of the discolorations that can seem like shadows and grain growing away or to you.
Golf season is just getting started here in Oklahoma, but we hope that wherever you are and wherever you may travel to play this great game, that you are able to hit them straight and roll them in often!
Enjoy Your Game!