Reading a Golf Course: The Break and Grain of the Golf Green

Feb 11, 2016

Deer Creek Golf Club, a Deerfield Beach golf course, knows that one of the keys skills a golfer can attain is the ability to read a golf green. When you evaluate the golf green that you are going to play, the main thing you will need to do is analyze the break and the grain of the golf green. The break is the amount a putt will move from the right to the left, or the left to the right, on a green. The grass of the course can affect the ball’s break. The grain of grass refers to the particular direction in which the grass grows.

Reading the Break:

Factors that affect the break include topographical features such as water and hills, slopes, the grain of the grass, and arguably the most important it how hard you hit the ball.

– Find the natural slope of the course. If there are hills, locating the slope should be relatively easy. The slope of the green is going to be from the mountain, unless some twisted architect has decided to bank the hole towards the mountain.

– If the course is for the most part flat you can ask a golf pro or superintendent to identify the area’s lowest points. Find that point and take advantage of gravity.

Reading the Grain:

If you are putting downgrain in the direction of the grass, the ball will roll faster than putts into the grain, which are in the opposite direction of grass growth. The course grain will have an effect on where you aim to putt the ball.

– Look at the cup to determine which way the grass is growing.

– If you cannot determine the direction in which the grass is growing, go to the edge of the green (fringe), where the grass is longer and you will be able to tell the direction of the green right away.