As we transition from winter playing conditions to summer playing conditions, the following are modifications that will help players on all levels maintain consistency of play with the changing conditions.
1. Club Selection
As the grass grows/thickens and the humidity increases, be prepared for an adjustment with how far the golf ball travels. Expect to lose some distance off the tee (less roll) and plan on increasing your club selections into the greens. Heavy air can reduce distance.
2. Grain Direction
Learn to read the direction of the grain on the greens. Thicker grass will mean stronger grain which will influence direction and speed when putting.
3. Softer Greens
Greens will tend to be softer and more receptive to shots into the greens and less roll when chipping/pitching. Always adjust club selections and landing spots for short shots.
4. Practice Chipping
Due to the higher/thicker grass around the greens, putting off the greens will become less of an option and chipping and pitching will be more challenging. See below for tips for chipping out of thicker grass conditions:
- The angle of attack needs to increase, play the ball a bit farther back in your stance and allow for your hands
to be farther ahead of the ball.
- Add extra weight onto your leading leg and maintain
the weight on your leading leg during the backswing.
- Allow for a longer swing motion to offset the thickness of the grass.
- Increase your grip pressure so you can keep the hands/club moving through the grass on the forward motion.
- Don’t be shy! Be aggressive with your motion.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drink lots of water, keep a wet towel for cooling down, avoid mid-day rounds, seek shade whenever possible (umbrellas work also) and have gloves available if you prefer to walk. You can also consider a balance of riding and walking, but be patient. It’s easy to lose focus and patience when it’s warm out.