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They Don’t have Grainy Greens in New England

Where I grew up, our bent grass greens don’t have any grain to speak of. I just never thought about the effects of grain…ever.

So when I came down to play college golf in Florida, it drove me nuts. In fact, I blame grain for my nearly career ending bout with the yips. This episode is all about helping you putt better on grainy greens based on what I’ve learned over the years.

Does Grain Really Matter?

Yep. Grain kind of acts like wind for full shots. You can be into the grain, with the grain and cross grain. In all cases, if you don’t account for it, you won’t putt very well.

How Do I Read for Grain on the Green?

  1. Light and Dark Areas – Look at the shades of green on the green (that sounds funny). Lighter shades are down grain and faster, darker shades are into the grain and therefore much slower.
  2. Look at the Hole – On bermuda greens especially, the edge of 1/2 the hole will be clean, and the other half will be dirty, or beaten up over the course of the day. The grain is running from the clean edge toward the “dirty” edge.
  3. Where’s Water Flowing – Grain tends to push in the same direction as water runoff.
  4. Toward the Strongest Sunlight – Some believe that grass tends to grow toward the southwest, or the direction where the most intense sunlight is coming from. Could be a rule of thumb.

Hope that helps you putt better!