Don’t be intimidated by lightning fast greens

IS THE Masters approaches, discussions will inevitably turn to the speed of the greens at Augusta National. The green speed, or Stimp speed, at Augusta is generally between 12 and 14. Most courses in Australia would have a maximum green speed between 10 and 12 on the Stimpmeter.

One thing to take into consideration when watching the Masters is how small the greens are and how undulating the lay of the course is. It looks quite flat on TV, but is in fact quite hilly, which adds to the difficulty of playing the course and approaching the smaller greens.

If you are going to be playing on fast greens, make sure you do what the players at Augusta will do: spend time practising on the practice putting green. Practice greens will generally run at the same speed as those on the course so take the time to work on your distance control. Tour players will spend a lot of time working on their distance control before a tournament, particularly at Augusta National. Practising 20 to 30 uphill and downhill putts will give you a good feel for the speed of the greens and help eliminate three-putts during your round.

To work on your distance control, pace out 8 to 12 steps from a hole on your club’s practice green. Hit six putts from this distance. Decrease the distance by two steps after each round of six putts and don’t forget to strike both uphill and downhill putts.

If you have any questions, e-mail me at [email protected]