How the Grain of a Green Affects Your Golf Ball

By John Elliott

What a Side Grain Does to Your Ball

You know what? We found the grain. Now we need to know what effect that grain is going to have on your golf ball. What we have done we do not want you to do to your green at home. I have gotten in here and I have made a lot of this grass stand up using the back of my putter. This is simply to show you the effect that the grain has on the ball rolling through it. I am going side grain with it moving from my right to my left. Look what it did to that ball. It lifted it up and it turned it to my left. You can just see it moving all over the place. Now I am going to move to the side and putt into the grain. This will slow the ball down and it will lift the ball up. You can see it bouncing right over the top of the grain. Very irregular roll. Now we are going to go side grain the other way. This should work just like it did a moment ago but the break should be in the other direction. Oh man, that really kicked it to the side. That got hung up. That moved all over the place.

Going Down Grain

Now we are going to go down grain and down grain should be the one that is the least effected because the ball will be on top of the grass. It will lose some of its speed but it should not lose a lot of its direction. That was far and away the one that was the least effected. The two of those went right together. There we saw a little bit of bouncing at the end. If we were to summarize grain, A, it is hard to find. B, once you find it the question becomes how much emphasis do you put on it relative to the speed and to the change of direction that it is going to effect?

Using Experience and Feel

I wish I could give you an answer there. It is so much feel and instinct and knowledge. Until you have a enough experience you are probably going to tend to under read grain, that is the norm. But, you want to be aware of it because if you feel like you are hitting good putts and they keep getting near the hole and diving out it is probably the grain that is pushing them away from the hole.

Repairing the Green

You might want to conduct a little study like this, but just like we showed you on the tip where we were looking for the grain, always make sure when you finish that you lay it back down. There is going to be somebody else coming through here that is going to want to putt and they will see the mess you made, and trust me, they are going to be upset with you and we don't want to make anybody upset. I will lay this down and stomp on it a little bit and it will be almost as good as new. So, yes be aware of the grain, no don't worry about the grain. As you become more experienced you will be able to read it better and your results will show up accordingly.

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