Had a frustrating day yesterday in my Thursday money game, and left a few bucks short and a little sore. Despite the fact that the course we played is a beautiful track, the greens had recently been aerated. The previous week we played the same course before they punched and I basically crushed my opponents with my putter and a solid 74. This week was an entirely different story.
This time of year in northern Utah we play the game we call “punched greens Russian roulette.” We try to avoid courses which have punched and only play on the courses which haven’t. Yesterday’s round reminded me that I really need to stick to playing non punched or simply non crappy greens.
My Advantage Nullified
I was telling my golf buddy Arnie this yesterday, following my 2nd three putt on the front nine. In my group the players all have their strengths. Arnie’s is his short game–not long off the tee. Marius’s is his ball striking. Good, sound swing and hits his irons well. My strength is my putting, driving accuracy comes in 2nd. My weaknesses are greens in regulation and short game. One-putting saves my ass and compensates for my bad GIR and short game.
When our group plays a course with good or great greens, I feel like I have a great advantage on the greens as I’ll drain some bombs and won’t typically miss putts less than five feet. But on punched greens like yesterday, the ball bounces all over the place and goes off line. The speed is also messed up, usually slower because of the bouncing of the ball. For some reason I over compensate for that and blow it by five feet. Then the 2nd putt is a 5-footer which is a hit and hope.
I’m cruising along at even par when I had my first 3-putt about 4-5 holes in. Thinking the bouncy greens would be slow, I blew it by 6-7 feet. Then the come back 2nd putt bounced off line. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t take 3-putting lightly. That anger spilled over onto the next hole, a par-3 where I gagged a 5-iron into the lake. From that point on it was a struggle to keep from breaking a club over my head.
So at this time of year when some courses here start punching greens, I feel I need to check and make sure they haven’t punched. Many courses unfortunately don’t disclose this information unless specifically asked, which I think is chickens**t.