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Quick Tip from Mark Rolfing:

Grain

Grain in the greens is one of the elements you normally have to deal with here in Hawaii. The first thing you have to understand is what grain is. It's simple... as opposed to the blades of grass growing straight up and down the grass grows in one predominate direction.

So just how does the grain of the grass affect a putt? Well, a down grain putt will be fast. An into the grain putt will be slow and a cross grain putt will push the ball in the direction that the grain is growing.

There are a few ways to read the grain. If you look at the grass between you and the hole and it has a shiny tone, you are putting down grain. If it is dark you are going into the grain. Also late in the day one side of the cup appears burned out. The grain is growing in that direction.

The most important thing in putting on greens with any grain is to hit the putt solid and get the ball turning over toward the target.

Here are two mistakes I see. The first is when a player cuts across the ball which will cause the grain to affect the putt even more and then second is when a putt is struck with a downward blow causing it to bounce and get off line immediately.

Here is one final thought - I'm a firm believer that you will hole more putts down grain than into the grain .So keep that in mind.

Understand the grain and learn how to read it.

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