Of course we all prefer to play with the sun our backs and to use the short (or long) stick on smooth, perfectly-running putting surfaces but for large parts of the year this is simply not possible.
Yet a lot of golfers moan and gripe about winter greens, despite them being a regular feature of our lives. However, with just a small change of attitude they could learn to love these 'temporary' putting surfaces.
Ask yourself the following. If you make what you regard as a poor putt, is it more likely to be because you significantly misjudged the line or the distance? We'd be prepared to bet that more often it is the distance you get wrong, and furthermore, that 90% of the time it is because you don't hit the putt hard enough, and therefore come up way short. It's a common fault but no less frustrating for that.
It's also a problem that's exacerbated on true, fast summer greens, where we tend to cosy putts along, fearful of hitting them six feet past.
But when you play on temporary greens, where the grass is likely to be longer and the surface much more uneven, the only chance you have to hole anything is to be firm and decisive with your stroke.
So look upon winter greens as an opportunity to develop a more emphatic, bolder putting stroke and you may well find that the benefits spill over into your summer game.
And if you do miss a few, you can always blame the greens!
|| 15 - NOVEMBER 2002