Turf on a golf course, like the weather, is one of those things you can’t control. But you can control how you react to it. Firmness of the turf is something good players notice, especially when it comes to their ball-striking. And speaking of the weather, climate is generally the No. 1 influence on how the turf feels: spongy, on one end of the spectrum, and like concrete, or a worn driving range mat, at the other.
Some PGA Tour players actually bring two sets of irons on the road, each shafted differently. The “hard turf” set will have slightly more flexible shafts to absorb the shock of the unyielding ground at impact. The “soft turf” set will employ a stiffer shaft to fight some of the torque and inexactitude that can come from hitting off mushy turf.
It’s not an option open to everyone, but it does make you think: In these days of interchangeable and adjustable equipment, surely the day will come when we can all have iron sets so customized. (The industry’s bottom-line watchers would love it, of course.) Also, do the heads in one set have to be identical to those in the other? Does one need a different leading edge for clipping it off hard turf? As always with golf equipment, the possibilities are endless and fascinating.
And by the way, the chance for rain on the Monterey Peninsula is 70 percent both Friday and Sunday.