Click here So, this week’s blog topic is one that many still don’t know how its done and what skills you need
To master this art with the aim to hole more putts but also to get the ball close to the hole and avoid the dreaded 3 putts.
There are many factors to consider when on the green, but have you thought that reading greens may start before you even put a foot on them?
No? read on and I will explain ….
There are just a few things to take into deliberation of a putt
· Slope of the greens
· Sunlight and shadow
· Nearby water
Let’s breakdown each component in more detail and start with slope which is the easiest of them all to see and judge.
Everyone can see slope to a certain degree especially the more predominate it becomes.
So, to one I think most amateurs don’t know much about or pay anywhere near as much attention to as they should when sizing up their putts but one that has a significant factor.
The direction of grain is possibly the key ingredient to success on the greens in golf and if time is taken to learn about grain and to spot its direction will massively improve the holing of putts.
Would you know what effect on the putt grain has if it grows towards you or away from you?
Well let’s look at grain that grows TOWARDS you, is darker in colour when in sunlight indicates a SLOWER putt because you are going against the grain, so you will need to factor in a little MORE speed and LESS break.
Where grain that’s grows away from you is LIGHTER in colour almost shiny indicates a FASTER putt because you are going with the grain, so you will need to factor in a little LESS speed and MORE break.
Now rules of golf don’t let you test the grain by scraping the grass in competition but in practise you can do this, but another way is to look at the grass around the cup to see which way the grain is lying.
The side where the grass is broken and the edge more damaged will indicate which side of the cup towards which the grain is growing and the other side of the cup where the grass is less damaged and more intact indicates the side of the cup in which the grain is growing so to make it simple to read grain.
I would really recommend this on short putts of about 3-5ft as longer putts can have grain changes.
In summary grain growing away is darker in colour, slower and plays less break.
Grain growing towards you is lighter in colour almost shiny, faster and plays more break.
So, this will affect speed and break of putts and something to be mindful of.
Now for sunlight and shadow and how this also effects putts for a green in direct sunlight will be dry and firm so in effect faster with more break and one in shadow will be soft so a slower roll and less break on putts so if you have a putt on a green that crosses from shadow to sunlight it will start off slow but then speed up in the sunlight with more break at the end than at the start.
Grain can be affected by sunlight as grass tends to grow in the direction of where the green gets sunlight during the day.
The final part is water, and this has a big affect as most greens tend to slope towards water in any form such as lakes, rivers or oceans.
Now Dave Peltz found in a study that most golfers under read putts almost every time!
When practising putting you won’t learn anything by just dropping a few balls hitting one and adjusting on the next because you not going to learn about grains etc and you only get one attempt at a putt in competitions so put time into learning about grains.
A great drill to use is pick a putt but before attempting it go through reading grain etc then put a tee in the ground on which you think the aim line is then make the putt and see if you make it, if not then you can have good feedback from the tee how far you either under or over read the putt.
I can’t emphasize enough that golf drills must have an aim and provide feedback to be any use to the golfer towards improvement in their game.
So, I hope that this sheds a bit of light of the art of green reading and highlight things that you can do that you’re not to improve and make putts.
Feel free to comment and let me know if this helps or you have any questions on this subject.
Till next time, happy golfing!
This is a tough article for me to write. Why? Because I know it is going to suffer “straw-man” attacks and will anger a lot of golfers and coaches.
But I’m writing it anyway.
I’m writing it because it needs to be said. I’m writing it because the idea isn’t given enough exposure/credit/thought/attention.
I’m writing it because amongst all the glitzy, glamorous, alluring ideas out there surrounding golf improvement, this one gets the least amount of attention.
But it matters. It matters a lot. It matters more than anything you will ever read or hear about. It’s the difference between you now and Tiger Woods during 2001-2002. It’s the difference between your paltry 170 yard drives and Joe Miller’s 470 yard screamers.
I think you get the point.
THE GOLF BALL DOESN’T CARE
The golf ball is inanimate.
It doesn’t have eyes or ears. It is completely indifferent to anything but cold, hard physics.
The diagrams above should help
What does this mean for you?
Well, you know that pretty backswing you are working on? The golf ball doesn’t care about it. It couldn’t care less if you were laid off, across the line, or making a Zorro sign at the top of your swing.
It doesn’t give a hoot how you grip it, where you place it in your stance or what your posture looks like.
It doesn’t care about your emotions. Are you nervous because of that group watching you on the first tee? Did you triple the first and now you are mad because you have already blown your round? Are you fired up after birdieing the last hole?
The ball doesn’t care about those things.
No, you didn’t hit a bad shot because you looked up, didn’t get through it (whatever the hell that means) or got “quick” from the top. The golf ball does not give the time of day to those factors.
Your kinematic sequencing, your ground pressure, your weight shift and the clubhead being below the hand path – while they are all nice things, the golf ball doesn’t respond to them.
How tall you are, how much you weigh, whether you are a male or female, how old you are or how strong you are – the golf ball is insouciant.
Did you spend all week preparing and practicing for this round, this shot? Have you put in years of training, or is this the first time you have ever picked up the club? These are all non-factors to the golf ball.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming I am saying those things don’t matter. That is the straw-man argument we talked about at the start.
But I’m not going to sit here and ease up on my argument in order to appease the mob of angry golfers who disagree.
The argument stands as true. This article has a point, and I want that point to shine through – the golf ball doesn’t care about you, your emotions, your backswing, your set up, your physical attributes or how much practice you have put in.
It simply doesn’t know or care .
WHAT DOES IT CARE ABOUT?
No – I’m not talking about whether your hips are open or closed, whether you have side tilt or not, or whether your weight is on your front or back foot.
It cares about the collision. We call this “the impact interval”.
For a brief moment in time (about 450 microseconds and 0.5-0.75 inches) the clubhead is connected to the ball. The ball squishes against the clubface before separating.
During that time, and that time only, the ball receives all the information it needs to determine where it is going to fly and on what trajectory (not accounting for wind).
Pre impact – ball doesn’t care .
Impact – ball really does care !
Post impact – ball no longer cares about you, your follow through, your emotional attachment to the shot.
This is it – everything to the ball. Everything else is just a dress-rehearsal; a vehicle for the big moment of truth.
Notice how, in the above pictures, the ball doesn’t know that it was Tiger Woods who was hitting it.
UPPER AND LOWER ORDERS
The ball responds predominantly to just a few things – some more important than others.
The most important factors to the ball that YOU as a golfer control are;
We call these the main ball-flight laws.
Some things which affect the shot less so, but still in an important way are
Less important factors (almost negligible) are
WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS?
I am insistent on this idea.
After every shot you hit, ask yourself – what happened during impact?
The above questions are my “basic must-haves”. In addition to this, I also try to get players to identify;
If you want to hit a 300 yard perfectly straight drive down the centre of the fairway, the answer to how to do this lies in impact. If you’re not doing this, there is something off at impact – as simple as that.
Any time you hit a shot with a directional or distance issue, you will find the answer to WHY in those questions – particularly the first 4.
Now go – go and do everything you can to improve that.
If you can’t link your ball flight to what happened at impact, you are just not going to imorove and be stuck in a rutt .
Have you ever worked on your impact directly?
Most golfers haven’t. They work on everything relating to it (backswing, movement pattern) without actually working directly on IT.
Most golfers don’t even know how to work on IT directly.
What exercises have you done/can you do for it? Can you even visualize what you are supposed to be trying to achieve?
If Impact is the most important…. scrap that….. THE ONLY thing the ball responds to (besides wind), wouldn’t it make sense to put a lot of your effort into improving it?
As strike affects
until next time
happy golfing !
Its the 1 major left for phil to join the grand slam club and he pocesses one of the best short games on tour . But with fairways narrow will phil risk his wayward driving or take a 3wood or iron off the tee ?
I quite fancy rickie around shinnecock hills as he is steady and straight from tee to green but also is a great shot maker being able to hit left to right , right to left and high or low gives him the tools it just rests on his putting over 4 days and the fact he still has yet to win a major but he pushed at augusta and proven he likes links play so could it be his year ?
Dj being back as world number 1 will give him a boost but with his distance off the tee he can get chances to score on certain holes others may not but one question with dj is the flatstick .
A dark horse to watch is louis oosthuizen a former open winner and a proven links player a course like shinnecock could prove to suit his eye .
Hole10, 415 yard, par 4
Like the first hole the tenth offers up a straight start and players have a choice off the tee .
A plateau awaits 220 yards away that will offer a flat lie to hit a 2nd over the hill from there a approach is to a flat green .
Hole11, 159 yard, par 3
A small green sloping from back right to front left which is helped by a breeze in the same direction but tougher in any other direction .
Dont go left here and the middle bunker right is not a bad place to be .
Hole12, 469 yard, par 4
A unchanged hole on the course with a narrow fairway to hit so many may avoid driver for accuracy .
A good size green to hit but with a few tricky ridges for putting .
Hole13, 374 yards, par 4
A very tight fairway to hit at only 16.5 yards wide and a approach shot made tricky by a front right bunker.
Hole14, 519 yards, par 4
One of the 500 yard + holes to the course having 77 yards added to it .
A big drop in elevation from tee to green which slopes right to left. The ideal angle of approach is from the left to a green sloping back to front .
Hole15, 409 yards , par 4
Another drop fron tee to fairway but birdies await those who can drive over the ridge to set up a short approach shot to precise spots on the green to make a putt.
Hole16, 616 yards , par 5
Now this hole has come in for critisim from phil mickelson as being a tough hole made even harder!
A fairway that snakes it way will provide a challenge to hit but the big hitters can go for the green in two that is surrounded by 4 bunkers . Will phils words by right or will there be eagles and birdies ??
Hole17, 180 yards ,par 3
A precise tee shot again is required for the last par 3 on the course with a cross wind from the left shots should avoid a long bunker right .
Hole18, 485 yards , par 4
So the last hole and a end to either a good or nightmare round .
Starts with a blind tee shot from a new tee box adding 35 yards on .
A wind from right to left but aim for the right side of the fairway to get a better angle at the green which slopes from back to front .
And there we have the course guide for shinnecock hills 18 on which the 118th us open will be played . Who will win ?
So the second major of the year is almost here and 2018 offering comes from shinnecock hills in New york and if anything in 2014 is to go by then a very stern test awaits the players !
Recent vidoes have surfaced showing how thick and deep the rough around shinnecock is and with tight fairways to hit and a few other changes will make it a tougher test and i wouldnt expect any real low total winning score for the tournament .
So we know the usga arwnt keen fans of low under par scores winning so select and set up course to prevent this .
So lets take a look at the golf course itself in this 2 part guide to shinnecock hills .
Hole1, 399 yard, par 4
A kind start to the course from a elevated tee a slight dogleg to the right with a tight fairway and thick rough either side waiting along with 2 fairway bunkers on the right for any ball played taking too much off the corner .
Still a good chance for the first birdie of the round .
Hole2 ,252yard, par 3
Lengthened by 26 yards and a uphill tee shot to a green severely
Protected by 6 bunkers ! 4 on the left and 2 on the right . A par is a good score here !
Hole3, 500yard, par 4
With a tee moved back 22 yards and more to the left and a fairway that has been narrowed to create a tighter dogleg and a green sloping from back to front a par is also a good score to take here .
Hole4 ,475 yard, par 4
Another hole that has added length to it and the tee shot and 2nd played into a right to left wind makes from a narrowed fairway makes this another hard test . But aim for the right side of a slightly elevated and sloping green .
Hole5, 589 yard, par 5
To the first par 5 at shinnecock and for the big hitters a great opportunity to reach the green in two with a prevailing wind even with 52 yards added to this hole .
Will there be eagles here ?
Hole6, 491 yards , par 4
A blind tee shot and a dogleg right but aim for the left side of the fairway to avoid the bunkers right will leave a longer and harder angled approach to a green sloping back to front .
Hole7, 189 yard , par 3
A real stern par 3 test awaits here with a precise tee shot needed to a green sloping from front right to back left . Missing the green here is not a option !
Hole8, 439 yard, par 4
Despite being lengthened by 41 yards this is still the shortest par 4 at shinnecock hills and one with a generous fairway but a cluster of bunkers wait on the left to hamper the ideal spot to be for the approach shot into a green well guarded and could catch out alot of players .
Hole9, 485 yard, par 4
The half way hole of the course is by no means easy with a blind tee shot into left to right wind and a fairway with plenty of contoursto move the ball around . Also a uneven lie may result if the bottom of the hill is reached so maybe a few dodgy shots may result ?
A good 2nd shot is key not to go long on this green or face a tricky downhill chip.
With the first major of the year over and a new major champion in american patrick reed winning a green jacket with 4 days of superb controlled rounds of golf .
we all expected a final day of fireworks and as rory mcilroy didnt provide a final day charge one man certainly did and his name was Jordan speith !
It was unbelivable to watch as jordan chased down the leader with a fierce determination worthy of the masters .
Having all that going on we can almost forget the rest of the field who can be said didnt really have a great masters .
The defending champion certainly had one to forget and the 13 on one hole will be one to forget !
We didnt really see much of world number 1 dustin johnson , jason day or justin rose .
A big crowd followed tiger woods as would be expected and it was great to see him back of the fairways of augusta national and even tho he didnt contend, he didnt make the cut and his progress didnt hault his comeback to professional golf .
Two people who had a good masters would be bubba watson and rickie fowler with the latter showing good form at majors and maybe this year a open title is waiting for rickie ?
Next major up is the us open at shinnecock hills , and the focus will be on phil mickleson and will he finally win the one tournament that has evaded him and become the 6th grand slam winner ?
In the second part of my guide to the 2018 Masters is focussed on the Augusta National course is what challenges face the players and what the course demands and what you need in your game to claim the green jacket.
The first part is patience which is a huge part to playing Augusta as one essential part of the tee is to put the ball in the right spots on the fairway but also to know when to attack certain flags.
Ten times in every round you will be faced with a shot, where if your too aggressive with it you will end up with a bogey at best you simply have to know when to rein back and play safe. If you get too aggressive you will make mistakes and then your chasing and certainly more will follow.
At Augusta your faced with so many shots from different lies, uphill, downhill and sideways and its not often you will have a flat lie to hit from.
It’s also well know that the course speeds up as the week progresses and they will also tighten up the fringes and areas around the greens.
Speaking of the greens this is a whole different ball game where you will need amazing touch and also finding the right spot to give the best putt, it’s well documented that you may only have a area 3 feet to stop the ball on to allow the best chance of a putt.
If you have 40ft putts you simply won’t have any chance and a miss by a few inches could leave a 25ft putt with 10ft of break!
What matters most is to be having a second shot with a short enough club to be able to stop the ball in those spots so one key is being able to hit a high shot so where Rory mcilroy has an advantage!
So, it can be taken that you need to be long and accurate of the tee to find the plateaus to approach the greens with a high shot with a short club to stop the ball in a small area no bigger than a manhole cover at best. Remember Augusta is a 2nd shot course.
The toughest holes at Augusta
The obvious ones that jump out in front is amen corners infamous 11th,12th and 13th.
There are certain holes at Augusta that you simply can’t bully and they are the 1st,3rd,7th and 14th holes, you can get ahead there with a great short game to be able to get up and down.
The tee shot on 4 has a reputation as one of the hardest tee shots on the course with the unpredictable swirling winds making the shot extra hard just like the 12th.
The 7th is a golfers nightmare as there is no real definition to the hole itself off the tee so its hard to work any kind of shot.
So 3 of the real ball stirkers holes are 10,11,12 they contain 5 of the most huge shots of the round and will punish any bad strikes and with just one bad shot you will get rewarded with a possible double bogey if your lucky!
Now to the infamous 12th hole and that fear inducing tee shot where its so hard for even the best to pick the swirling winds and as we have seen in the past can destroy not just any round but also any hope of claiming the green jacket with it. Everyone would agree one of the prettiest holes in golf but one of the deadliest and if you cant work the ball then expect a difficult time making par.
14TH is another hole that don’t look much but again is one of the tougher tee shots , the fairway maybe wide but where the fairway goes right to left you need a good draw off the tee and a 3 wood makes the 2nd shot longer into a difficult green.
Now just a little guide on how to play the famous amen corner starting at number 11 and one of the toughest holes on the course and maybe the hardest tee shot knowing your starting amen corner especially if you have a good score going and in contention.
11th 505 yards par 4
So a long straight shot is required off the tee to make it a easier 2nd shot which is aimed at the middle of the 3 trees behind the green and the left half of the bunker again a good strike is needed to land before the green as if you land on the green which slopes away, you will struggle to hold it so you need to get one to trickle onto the green , most do bail out right but its not a easy up and down from there.
12th 155 yards par 3
So the infamous hole to Augusta the shortest hole on the course but one that demands the upmost respect and for most the aim is simply to get out of there with a par and the ideal approach here would be to hit to a specific number and not the pin itself sure you may not be the pin but you will be safe on the green and have a chance for birdie and a safe par which is not a bad score and if you bag a birdie then it’s a huge bonus.
13th 510 yards par 5
Now a eagle opportunity could await if you commit to the tee shot and get a good one away will set up a mid-iron approach to the green which doesn’t have too many good places to miss around it but the slopes mean you can feed the ball really close to some pin locations especially if the locations are near the front.
If you can play these 3 holes in level or one under you have a good chance of a good back nine and scorecard.
The key scoring holes at Augusta
Now three of the important long holes and how to take advantage.
2nd 575 yards A great early birdie chance but can be defensively played at times if the pin placement is open to a long approach shot to get close its better to lay up to a good angle of attack with a wedge. A good view down to the green is from a flat section of fairway at the top of the hill.
8th 570 yards One where you can go hard with the tee shot as the 2nd plays blind uphill so a good approach is to hit a cut of the fairway bunker. The 2nd has a temptation to go too far up the left to reach the green but mounds around the green make this a challenge to reach it .
15th 530 yards A hole that seems to play into the wind and with a tee shot requiring more precision leaving a precarious 2nd shot into the green whether you lay up or go for it . It’s a underrated tee shot as it looks like you have a massive fairway but trees eat in on the left and more mounds await on the right side which is where you should be going in regards to finding the green in two. Which you should have a 4 iron or less going in to a shallow green that’s hard to hold with a wedge from a downslope. A hole that could hold anything from eagle to double bogey at a vital point in the round.
There you have a guide to some of the key holes at Augusta and how to hopefully get out without too much trouble.
Again, thanks for reading and happy golfing!!!
Its that time of the golfing calendar when the first major of the year arrives and a field of 90
Golfers will head to Augusta National for the 2018 masters.
So here in part 1 is a rundown of who could take the green jacket this year.
Eliminating the weakest links
So as with any golf tournament it’s a case of horses for courses and Augusta is the one course where this is more evident than any other on the planet
So, with a field of 90 golfers you can straight away eliminate around 30 % of the field.
First timers have almost zero chance of competing and you can also eliminate the US amateur champ, British amateur champ, Asian-pacific, Latin America, mid am and also the elder guys in the field can be taken out.
Majority of opinion is that to find a winner you have to look at the top 10 or 20 guys in the world and based on the last ten years anyone who’s in hot form is in with a chance.
Another factor is the scoring conditions of the course, a higher winning score will suit the likes of a Sergio Garcia where the harder it is will suit the great ball strikers, but one thing is certain is you can’t be off on any part of your game when faced with Augusta National as you will be found out pretty fast!
With this in mind here’s a rundown of my possible contenders.
Always will be in contention as there is something about Jordan when The Masters comes around
He’s a thinking man’s golfer.
His putting is his strength and Augusta’s greens demand your every ability which Jordan certainly has in bucket loads but also, he has a mental steel that you need to tackle the course.
2. Mental ability
4. Previous winner
The first thing you think of when Dustin’s name is mentioned is driving distance, but the question is does he have the game with the putter to tackle the greens?
He can hit the ball for miles and has worked very hard to dial in his wedge game and is straight enough with his irons but its great to be able to hit the ball miles, but does he have the mental game?
He has the talent to win, but will he?
1. Driving distance
2. Wedge control
3. Straight irons
Rickie has a good track record at August statistically speaking and should on paper have no problems winning a green jacket.
For Rickie his biggest asset can be his undoing at the same time in his aggression in attacking pins and at Augusta you need that balance of knowing which holes you can attack and which you simply must play conservative and take a par because a big score can lurk if you attack.
1. Good ball striking
After last year’s playoff defeat Justin must be a serious contender for a green jacket over the next 2-3 years.
Justin has the mental game and his swing is second to none but some question his putting is quite at the level it should be.
Many would say if his putting is on for all four days he be in contention but given his form at the Arnold palmer especially the comeback from being +4 after 6 holes to -9 after 54 shows his battling qualities.
1. Mental toughness
2. Quality swing
3. Able to dig deep
4. Great ball striking
On paper Jason has everything to win the masters, hits it long, iron play good, short game.
The only thing maybe holding him back is the pressure he puts on himself as this is the one tournament he really wants on his cv and maybe that his driving is a little inaccurate of the tee .
1. Hits it long
2. Great short game
3. Solid iron play
4. Decent putter
The big question is what Rory will turn up at Augusta? Couple that with the mental scars of that ill fated 2011 round and add the little thing of the grand slam of golf into the mix then Rory has a lot of pressure sat firmly on his shoulders around Augusta!
There’s no doubt he can hit the long ball which is made for Augusta but he’s a little wayward as well where you need to be hitting certain spots on the fairway’s and there is also the small issue that Rory cannot putt very well and has a streaky label .
Rory has the talent and has come close but questions remain over his putting and mental game.
1. Hits it long
2. Natural talent
Again, another on paper who has a fantastic chance to win a green jacket and no doubt with the form of last season he could very well be in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Georgia.
The question is will he have that form? He has the skills in his bag to contend but Augusta is a very different beast in the calendar.
1. Natural talent
2. Good ball striking
3. Putts well
4. Good overall short game
So there’s my list of guys who I think will be there battling it out come the Sunday
What a week of golf at the Valspar championship and come the Sunday we saw Tiger woods and the famous Sunday red . Those fortunate enough to witness the tournament would have seen Tigers short game and putting seeming to be returning back to somewhere near its best and also shows the hard work he's put in to get back to what Tiger calls tournament ready golf .
well any doubts over his back surely have been put to rest when he hit a drive with a club head speed of 129.2 mph ! So this week we head to bay hill club for the Arnold palmer invitational and hopefully see tiger in the hunt once more .Also congrats to Paul casey on the win at the copperhead course and even more exciting to hear that casey will return to wentworth in may for the bmw championships .
Not such a great tournament at valspar for the likes of Jordan Spieth and for Rory Mcilroy ahead of Augusta in a few weeks time .
Rorys admitted his swing feels out of sync ahead of bay hill but he did enjoy some practise time ahead of the masters in april to try and figure out his approach to the tournament .
Another not so out of form is last years runner up Justin rose who with wins in China ,Turkey and Indonesia to his names is looking in good form and maybe he can claim a green jacket ?
Congrats also to Matt williams on his win at the indian hero open .
Also the R&A and USGA have released a report on driving distance and are said to be concerned about the increase of over 3 yards this year to last .
Data was taken on over 300,000 drives from 7 main pro tours and also amateur leaving many to question modern day golf balls .
A few quotes from pga pros on this
Mcilroy had this to say ... its not the ball or equipment but the players who have got more athletic .
This was mirrored by likes of Poulter , Stenson . and i have to agree that the modern day professionals are more aware of athletic ability from doing gym work to strengthen and make their bodies more flexible .
Also the golfsixes returns this year with stars from the LET tour joining the fun and promises to be another great event , head over to the european tour for ticket details .
So in the next blog i will be doing a feature ahead of the masters not only on Augusta National but also some of the possible contenders and a inside view of their chances .
Till then happy golfing !
So this week sees the waste management Phoenix open take place and the atmospheric 16th par 3 surrounded by stands of hysteric fans .But should more golf courses have such holes after a survey said golf was a top boring sport to watch ?
I doubt augusta national will anytime soon go against the stuffy shirt golf club attitude to embrace a modern idea .
But we do need courses like augusta in the traditional style .
So could the open embrace this idea or is purely a American twist ?
Could such courses as tpc sawgrass 17th or pebble beach, Wentworth adopt such a concept ?
From the players view they enjoy the atmosphere that goes with the stadium like atmosphere created and I haven't seen anyone say a bad word about it and they would welcome other courses following suit .
So where did the idea come from ?
Was purely a marketing idea?
Was it to make the tournament and golf course unique ?
Was it with tv in mind ?
Maybe a combination of all the above or just a brilliant stroke of genius that could be the future of golf?
Maybe it just be a one off idea to surround a entire hole and not just a few grandstands on certain holes on a course ?
I for one think the idea would catch on elsewhere and help boost the image of golf .
winter golf tips
so as the cold months roll in and winter takes hold how many of you actually play golf in the winter ?
Surprisingly not many do and normally the weather in the uk this time of year isn't great we do have the odd day where it's a crisp sunny cold day and a excellent chance to sample winter golf and the challenges it presents .
So a few tips to help your game in winter
1. Allow for less roll on wet or soft winter fairways compared to hard summer ones .
2. Be mindful that the golf ball doesn't fly as far in cold winter than in warm sunny days , a recent study showed that the difference being around 2 yards of carry for every 10 degrees drop ( cold air is denser than warm for science geeks ) .
3. Consider changing to a softer ' lower compression ball in winter as it's easier to compress a softer ball .
4. A random one this but to keep golf balls warm ( and last check it was legal ) put them in a pot a hot water for 30 minutes then dry them and put them into a insulated food bag ( I personally haven't tried it myself but may for research purposes ) .
5. A common tip from the tour is keep gloves dry is to put them in a sealed bag and also hang the glove on the rods under the umbrella to stay dry .
6. Simple one to keep a towel dry hang it off the umbrella but keep a spare in the bag too .
7. Rough in winter especially when wet is tough so swing a little harder to get out .
8. As beautiful as a crisp winter day can be to avoid disappointment do except that scoring won't be as good .
9. Greens will be slower when wet and soft .
So these top tips will help you enjoy winter golf more and the different challenge it poses to summer golf , course management and mental toughness will be tested as will ball striking .
Don't let all of this put you off tho from getting out on the course , even just 9 holes can be very beneficial to your winter practise programme .
Enjoy and happy golfing !
A professional golfer sharing blogs on playing the game , how to practise and views from the golf world ,