Old Palm News - Mark My Words

Mark My Words

September 12, 2012

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Mark My Words By Mark Hackett, Director of Instruction, Old Palm Golf Club As many of our members return from a summer spent on bentgrass and poa annua greens, they will experience a totally different putting surface here at Old Palm than they have in the past. The new TifEagle bermudagrass greens will be the best bermudagrass greens possible. While TifEagle creates a true roll of the ball and great speeds, it is not the same as the northern grasses. Because bermudagrass grows horizontally, along the ground, “grain” comes into play more prominently. The grain on the putting green is the direction in which the grass grows. We have sophisticated equipment and the best golf course superintendent in the world, but we still have to work with the nature of the bermuda. Because the grass grows horizontally, we go to great lengths to stand the grass up vertically by topdressing and verti-cutting the greens. If we did not go through these maintenance practices, you would be putting on the greens in the future that are not to the standards you expect. By standing the grass up, you get better rolls and quicker greens speeds. Nevertheless, grain will always come into play. There are a couple of ways you will be able to notice the “grain.” • As the picture below indicates, the browned out side of the cup (the right side) indicate the direction the grain is growing. The ball will have a tendency, especially as it slows down, to break toward this side. • Secondly, you will see in the future that the greens will appear “shiny” from some angles and deeper green from other angles. When the green is “shiny” or a very light color green, you are viewing the green when it is down-grain or when the TifEagle is growing away from you. Putts from these angles will be faster than putts putted into the grain. Putts putted into the grain or when the TifEagle is growing towards you, will be slower and must be struck harder. Remember to keep grain in mind and you will be putting lights out!!

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