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Putting Bermuda grass greens


A putt will roll off-line easier on Bermuda grass than on bent or rye, because it is coarse and grainy. A ball with sidespin will continue to work off-line as it rolls along, while one with topspin will hold its intended course. Take as an example a barrel hoop or wheel that is being propelled by a stick. The stick pushes upward and against the hoop, causing it to have tremendous overspin which keeps it going straight as long as the spin and momentum last. It is advantageous to putt with topspin on all greens, but it is an absolute necessity on Bermuda.

Topspin is produced by keeping the putter face square to the intended line on both the backstroke and forward stroke. On the backstroke, the face will seem to be "closed," "shut" or "hooded." Keep the blade low going back and stroke up and through, with the forward stroke longer than the backstroke.

A strong putt is best on Bermuda and one should play for little break, rarely playing the ball "outside" the hole. On slow, heavy greens, some players prefer a putter with a little loft. A deep-faced club gives best all-round results and also is an advantage when putting from off the green.

BILL ROACH, Sea Island Golf Club, Ga.



incorrect: sidespin


correct: overspin


NEXT WEEK: Harry Obitz on getting into the classical position