I do not know of any golfer who does not comment on the speed of the green during their round of golf. I know over the years I have discussed (actually complained) about the speed of the green from time to time. Looking back, I understand my frustration at the time, but have to remind myself that I have to play the conditions of the day and complaining is a waste of breath. Since I have to play the conditions of the day, I ask again: Does the speed of the green actually matter?
The short answer is a resounding yes! The speed of the greens will make or break a round of golf. Many amateurs are challenged to quickly adjust if the greens are too slow or fast! Depending on your handicap (using this as a benchmark) our ability of adjust to the speed of the green should be more developed. However, that is not always the case. Personally, it takes a few greens to read their speed and slower greens are easier than faster ones. Regardless, it is a skill that every golfer needs to develop to help shoot lower golf scores.
The inspiration for today’s post was rooted in an article from the USGA on the speed of greens. Their article deals with many aspects of maintaining greens, but this excerpt struck home with me:
Putting greens are comprised of living plants that change and perform differently from season to season and even day to day. Temperatures, humidity, rainfall and routine maintenance practices all influence daily green speed. Maintaining the same green speed throughout the year is impossible, and letting a target number dictate management practices is a recipe for damaged greens and undesirable playing conditions.https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/articles/2020/06/the-truth-about-green-speeds.html
The USGA hit the nail on the head because we in northern climes experience the challenge of green conditions almost every day. At this time, my home course of Osprey Links are waiting for all the winter damage to fill in. Some years it is worse than others, but it is something that we have to adjust too on a daily basis. Once the greens fill in, Osprey Links has consistent greens that pose a different challenges almost daily. Their greens are one of the reasons I selected this course as my home track.
The speed of the greens actually matter to most players. We can tolerate many things, but inconsistent greens is generally not one. If the course is playing fast (on the greens), they all need to be fast. Because inconsistency just breeds frustration for most players; I know it affects my game for sure.
Speed of the greens creates a domino effect when selecting my line. I will not rehash this ongoing arguement, but if you want to see where I stand, you can read my video at: https://thegratefulgolfer.com/2017/10/10/golfs-biggest-dilemma-line-vs-speed/
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!