Bubba Watson claimed his second green jacket Sunday with a victory at Augusta National over a field that was tightly bunched heading into the final round.
Player after player slid backward on the leaderboard in the final round, but Watson kept moving forward, firing a 69 to seal the three-shot win.
Augusta was playing as difficult as it had in a long time, as firm, fast conditions left the players to deal with some of the most difficult greens in the world.
Bubba’s length off the tee was a big advantage because it gave him the opportunity to hit shorter clubs into the firm greens, creating more spin that kept the ball on the green.
We may not experience greens as difficult as the ones during the Masters, but there are probably a few times each year where the greens you play can get firm and fast.
Check out these tips for the next time you are dealing with firm, fast greens:
• Weigh your options when approaching the green. Creating spin depends more on your lie than anything else. If playing from the rough, where more grass can get between the clubface and the ball, you are less likely to create the necessary spin to hold the green. In this case your best bet would be to find a landing area short of the putting surface and get your ball to roll up to the green.
• Your grooves matter. Old, worn out grooves will not help you create spin. The function of grooves is to channel away any debris that can get between your ball and the clubface so that you get more friction. New, clean grooves will help you create the most friction and the most spin.
• Consider a heavier putter on faster greens. Several putters on the market now have adjustable weight technology that allows you to add or take weight away from the putter head. A heavier putter head will help you slow down your stroke, which will be needed on fast greens. Just make sure when you make the change that you spend a little extra time on the practice green getting the feel for your putter and the speed of the green.