Putting Into or With the Grain

When putting on most greens it is important to remember that the rough side of the hole or cup is where the ball will break. Here is a quick way to think about it. The rough side of the cup is the catcher’s mitt. This is where the ball is going to go. The way in which the grain is growing will greatly determine the speed of your putts. Here is a picture to illustrate just that:


As you can see, the top half of the hole in this picture is much rougher than the bottom half. If you were putting from the top of the picture the putt would be slower because you would be putting into the grain. If you were putting from below this picture the putt would be extremely fast because you are putting with the grain or into the catchers mitt.

Always remember that the ball is going to break into the rough part of the cup if the grain is not straight into you or behind you. Something else you may want to consider is putting on bermudagrass means the putts will likely not break as much.

Speed is extremely important on most greens. If you are putting on bermudagrass in North Carolina or South Carolina go look at the hole, check out the grain and determine your speed from there. Even if you are putting uphill you will find putts to be fast if you are putting with the grain. If you are putting into the grain and uphill you may have to crush your putt.

This is one of the reason amateur golfers often cannot get the speed correct on bermudagrass greens. On one hole they may blast it by by 10 feet and another hole they could leave it five feet short and have no reason why. Nine times out of 10 it is because of the grain of the grass when putting.

One thing I have noticed is that grain is not nearly as important when putting on bentgrass greens. Bentgrass greens seem to roll true no matter what. Here is a tip for putting on bentgrass greens.

Do you walk up to the hole and look at the grain of the grass before putting? Has this helped you to lower your handicap?