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Different Grasses on the Dance Floor

How many of you are golf agronomists? Not many I’d presume! So how hard do you have to work at knowing different strains of grass and how to make adjustments for variable grasses on the ‘Putting Surface’?

Here are some of the most common ‘Grass Strains’ just for the fun of knowing or just hearing the various names. 1) Bent Grass, 2) Poa Annua, 3) Annual Bluegrass, 4) Bermuda, 5) St. Augustine, 6) Perennial Rye Grass, 7) Zoysia and some local or regional others. With a touch of ‘Nasty’ there may be hay just off the greens!

I know! I know! Good to know but hard to remember? Have to confess! I know the strains but never pay too much attention to them. A little lazy but not too costly for the average golfer. Tip? You have to ‘Pace Your Putts’. Knowing your ‘Distance’ is not optional. Guess and you shall ‘Pay The Price For Being Lazy’!

How can I say that? Well the ‘555 Golfer’ has a particular ‘Pre Game Routine’ that ALWAYS starts with ‘Putting’. The first drill is what we refer to as ‘The Down & Back Drill’. It is not concerned initially with direction, (break) but just Pace or Distance. (run) With a ‘12 Inch Stance Width’ and a ball whose backside is about two inches behind the inside of your Target Shoe, produces a ‘Stance Controlled’ stroke length of 10 inches. If we make a smooth, not ‘Popped’ stroke, but steadily chased ‘Through The Ball’, we will produce, on a flat average surface, a ‘Rolling Distance’ of between 20 to 30 feet. (Perhaps more with a mallet putter than a blade putter)

If you can make a perfectly delivered ‘10 Inch Stroke’, you will then know that is no longer a variable. How far does this ball roll? 20 to 30 feet may be the answer. Then you and your caddie will call the ‘Green Speed’ a 20 or a 30. (2 to 3 feet per stroke inch). ‘A 25 Foot Putt’ may require 10 inch stroke length with a 2.5 foot per inch per green.

The agronomists will have a ‘Stimp Meter’ as I do, but, being in my ‘Golf Room’ at home when needed is a fail! Lot of good it does there! So I came up with the ‘Feet Per Inch’ that I understand. Neither the greens keeper nor my competitors have to know anything about my ‘Inching System’. 10 inches advances the ball 20 to 30 feet. 9 inches 18 to 27 feet. 5 inches from 10 to 15 feet. We tested the green speed our own way. Terrific now just use it!

How about out beyond 30 feet? 10 inches to the inside of your Brace Shoe. Your shoe is 4 inches across. Toe equals 12 inches. Outside of the shoe equals 14 inches. Our targeted Distance for 14 inches will be 28 to 42 feet. Beyond this distance, we go 1,2,3,4,5 inches outside the Brace Shoe. (see ‘Optimal Stroke Length’) More simple math … 14 plus 5 equals 19 Stroke Inches times 2 = 38 feet … times 3 = 57 feet. ‘Thrust Level 1, 2 and 3’ will take you out beyond 100 feet. That takes care of not knowing about ‘Strains Of Grass’! Could be astro-turf! Won’t matter!

Never progress anywhere for any reason on the golf course without your ‘Down & Back Drill’ and its useful data!

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