We factor grain into our putts but how about when we’re just off the green?
By Adam Burwood
I see a lot of coaching articles about chipping from grainy lies and how the direction of the grass affects the club. What I rarely encounter is an explanation of how grain impacts the ball once it lands on a grainy green. Here at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club the greens are Bermuda which makes them grainy. In layman’s terms, grain is the direction in which the grass is growing. Bermuda grass will generally grow towards the sun or water so potentially one green could have grass growing in different directions, making putting and chipping a lot more difficult. The easiest way to assess this is to look at the shade of the green. If the green is dark as you look at it from your ball, you are putting or chipping into the grain. A lighter shade adversely means the grass is growing towards the hole and will make the putt or chip a lot faster. This will obviously play a big part in how the ball will roll when playing a chip and run. When chipping into grain, look to fly the ball a little higher and land it much closer to the hole. The ball is likely to stop quickly with very little run. Facing a chip shot when the grass is down grain requires you to land the ball much shorter as you will see it run out a lot more. In this scenario I would be looking to get the ball on the green as soon as possible with a low flying shot – providing you have plenty of green to work with. Pay more attention to this when you’re next chipping on to grainy greens and you will enjoy improved distance control.
Adam Burwood is a Golf Professional at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club’s Peter Cowen Academy Dubai. For more information, visit dubaigolf.com