- Focus intently on contact: The shaggier the greens, the more important it is to strike the ball on the putter’s sweet spot. The better you hit it, the less susceptible it is to the green’s imperfections. Concentrate on setting up with the ball directly in line with your putter’s alignment aid. And keep your head still for a couple of counts after the ball is gone. Peeking will throw off your stroke path and cause a miss-hit.
- Play less break and hit the ball firmly: The slower the greens, the less your putts will break. For instance, if you read 6 inches of curve in a putt based on normal speeds, play 3 inches and stroke the ball a little more firmly. Unless you give it a real smack, it’s unlikely to run very far past the cup.
- Use a heavier putter: If your putter features an adjustable weight system, add a few grams before heading out to play Bumpy Greens Golf Club. (Remember, the rules prohibit altering a club’s playing characteristics during a round.) If you’ve got two or more putters, try the heaviest model on slower surfaces. You’ll hit the ball with a touch more “oomph,” and any loss of feel from the added weight will be inconsequential.
Ask most any golfer about the conditions of a course, and he’ll start by critiquing the greens. Rightly so. The smoothness and pace of putting surfaces can impact play as much as or more than any other maintenance factor.
No matter how upscale your course or club, you’ll inevitably have to putt on bumpy greens. They’ll probably be quite slow, too.
The No. 1 key to handling less-than-perfect greens is to accept them for what they are. Everyone on the course is facing the same issues – complaining or resigning yourself to an off day is just self-defeating.
Next, recognize that bumpy greens can be a blessing as much as a curse. Sure, good putts that bounce off line will stick in your craw. But make note of those that bounce toward – and perhaps into – the hole when they otherwise would have missed. Breaks tend to even out over time.
Aside from the mental aspects, here are three tips for making more putts on rough greens:
Just don’t forget to switch back to your lighter putter when the greens speed up.