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Grain/Break

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Originally Posted by phan52

The grain on those greens is confounding, something the best players in the world could never figure out.

The grain was not "confounding" or confusing or in any way a real issue at all. C'mon.

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Originally Posted by iacas

The grain was not "confounding" or confusing or in any way a real issue at all. C'mon.

Yeah, it was. Getting the speed and line at the same time was very difficult. I never saw so many missed 5-6 footers, and anything over 10 feet was a mystery.

Hugh Wilson is the architect of record, but William Flynn is really responsible for the greens. Flynn greens are subtly diabolical, and add in the new grasses like the creeping bentgrass that have variable grain patterns and you have confounding greens. You could have a 10 foot putt that has two different grain patterns. If you are thirty feet away, you are guaranteed different grain patterns.

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Originally Posted by phan52

Yeah, it was. Getting the speed and line at the same time was very difficult. I never saw so many missed 5-6 footers, and anything over 10 feet was a mystery.

You missed my point. It's got nothing to do with grain. And even if the greens did have "grain," they wouldn't affect the amount of break. Science.

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Originally Posted by iacas

You missed my point. It's got nothing to do with grain. And even if the greens did have "grain," they wouldn't affect the amount of break. Science.

Grain doesn't affect the amount of break? You're kidding, right?

Science, indeed.

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Originally Posted by phan52

Grain doesn't affect the amount of break? You're kidding, right?

Science, indeed.

It is science, the only thing grain does is effect the speed of the putt. This in turn will effect break just as would if the greens were faster or slower normally. If you have a straight putt, flat slope, and the grain was from left to right or right to left, there would be no break in the ball going in that direction. Here's the reason why. Its called gravity. If everything is flat, the ball can not break. There is no magical force forcing the ball left or right. Break is all bound by gravity. the ball will travel were gravity takes it. The only thing that effects it otherwise is speed of the greens.

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Originally Posted by phan52

Grain doesn't affect the amount of break? You're kidding, right?

Science, indeed.

Yep. I'm right on this. See the "AimPoint" thing in my certifications in my sig? That's how, and I've done my own testing too.

Grain affects speed, but it doesn't do anything to change the amount of break outside of changing speed. The absolute grainiest green s on the PGA Tour will vary by ONE foot on the stimp when you have a putt directly into the grain (i.e. uphill) and down grain (downhill). This can affect the read because on an uphill putt you have to hit the ball harder, so the ball has less time for gravity to make the ball break, but again: it's affecting the stimp +/- 1 on the grainiest greens on the PGA Tour .

Not the greens at Merion. Not even close.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Yep. I'm right on this. See the "AimPoint" thing in my certifications in my sig? That's how, and I've done my own testing too.

So, you are saying that if you are putting east to west across some grain that is going north to south, or into the grain on an uphill putt, the grain will have zero affect on the break of the putt? I mean, really, I've peen putting on bent greens for years and I don't need certification to know that the grain will affect the putt without the proper speed. And I do my own testing every time I play golf on bent greens, especially the newer courses in the area like Militia Hill at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Even the A caddies who have been there since it's opened haven't fully figured the greens out, and they don't have anywhere near the character of Merion's greens.

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Originally Posted by phan52

So, you are saying that if you are putting east to west across some grain that is going north to south, or into the grain on an uphill putt, the grain will have zero affect on the break of the putt? I mean, really, I've peen putting on bent greens for years and I don't need certification to know that the grain will affect the putt without the proper speed. And I do my own testing every time I play golf on bent greens, especially the newer courses in the area like Militia Hill at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Even the A caddies who have been there since it's opened haven't fully figured the greens out, and they don't have anywhere near the character of Merion's greens.

It's off topic for this thread, but grain does not affect the break of a putt. And I'm sorry, but your experience doesn't count as "testing" or science or proof. Map greens to a millimeter, determine the amount of break, compare them to the computer models, and so on and then we can talk. That's what Mark Sweeney's done, and I've seen the data. That's evidence. There are other threads about this, though, so that's enough for now.

The greens at Merion are beguiling, but you know what makes for the most beguiling greens? Relatively flat slopes (1% or so - minimal grades for drainage). People miss more putts on relatively flat sections of the green than anywhere else.

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Seems like the grain/break argument is largely one of semantics.

If

Originally Posted by iacas

Grain affects speed

and

Speed affects break (by giving gravity more or less time to act)

then

Grain (indirectly) affects break.

Can everyone live with that?

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Originally Posted by phan52

So, you are saying that if you are putting east to west across some grain that is going north to south, or into the grain on an uphill putt, the grain will have zero affect on the break of the putt? I mean, really, I've peen putting on bent greens for years and I don't need certification to know that the grain will affect the putt without the proper speed. And I do my own testing every time I play golf on bent greens, especially the newer courses in the area like Militia Hill at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Even the A caddies who have been there since it's opened haven't fully figured the greens out, and they don't have anywhere near the character of Merion's greens.

this is not going to end well Phan... some on here will argue the finest detail to last letter.

the grain is left to right - so it is faster left to right - so it breaks more left to right...but if YOU SAY the putt breaks more left to right because the grain that would be totally incorrect - and you are stupid because you look at the obvious and don't care about the definition. obviously reasonable people would admit the the putt moves more left to right because the grain...but not on here buddy - it doesn't work that way at all.

Words matter - and for godsake next time you have a driver in your hand don't ever stay behind the ball!!! you will fall over LOL.

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Originally Posted by France46

Seems like the grain/break argument is largely one of semantics.

If

and

Speed affects break (by giving gravity more or less time to act)

then

Grain (indirectly) affects break.

Can everyone live with that?

No. That's not how it works. It marginally affects putts that are INTO the grain or DOWN grain. It doesn't affect putts that are largely across the grain.

Putts that are INTO the grain or DOWN grain tend to be the putts that are very close to straight, so they don't vary in how much they break.

Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

the grain is left to right - so it is faster left to right - so it breaks more left to right...

A putt across the grain is not affected by speed or break. It does not break more "left to right." It breaks almost exactly the same amount as a putt with no grain at all. It breaks almost exactly the same amount as the mathematical model predicts.

Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

if YOU SAY the putt breaks more left to right because the grain that would be totally incorrect - and you are stupid because you look at the obvious and don't care about the definition. obviously reasonable people would admit the the putt moves more left to right because the grain...but not on here buddy - it doesn't work that way at all.

I'll make this very clear for you, since you're still pissed off that you were called on saying "the weight was fully back and transferred fully forward" at the same time: the putt does not break more left to right.

And the "grain" at Merion is not anywhere NEAR prominent enough to have an effect.


Real world example:

- Stimp 13, a green with no grain or the model, and a putt 90° to the side on 2% slope from 10 feet: breaks 16 inches.

- Stimp 13, the grainiest green in the world , same putt: breaks 16.2 inches.

Stimp 13, a green with no grain or the model, and a putt 30° up the same 2% slope 2% from 10 feet: breaks 6 inches.

Stimp 13, the grainiest green in the world , same putt: breaks 5.7 inches because it has a bit less time (~ half a second) to break due to the grain.

And again, that's the grainiest green the players play in the world, and it basically doesn't affect break. It affects it so negligibly that it's not even worth considering when you put it into practice.


Simply put: it's an old wive's tale or a fib or whatever you want to call it that grain affects the break of a putt.

----

This thread was moved here because it's off topic for the Merion thread.

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A putt that is into the grain is not going to break more than a putt with the grain...same with a put that is 90 degrees to the grain. However, a put that is not perfectly parallel or adjacent to the grain is going to be affected by it. Its simple science. More friction on one side of the ball is going to push the ball further than the break would dictate.

I don't care what some nerd with a computer model says.

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I have a related, but slightly off the topic of the argument, question:  What kinds of grass have the most prominent grain?

Phan seems to be suggesting that bent greens do, however, I always thought that the greens we have out here (in California) are mostly bent, and I've never paid any attention to, or noticed, any grain on them.  (I could be wrong about both - maybe they do have a lot of grain, or perhaps they aren't even bent :))

I've always been under the impression that bermuda (like in Florida, I believe, and I think Hawaii??) greens are the ones that have the most grain.

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Originally Posted by mvarley84

A putt that is into the grain is not going to break more than a putt with the grain...

Because downhill putts are hit slower and break more, and grain grows downhill.

A putt into the grain will not break much more or less than the same exact putt with the grain magically removed.


Originally Posted by mvarley84

However, a put that is not perfectly parallel or adjacent to the grain is going to be affected by it. Its simple science. More friction on one side of the ball is going to push the ball further than the break would dictate.

I don't care what some nerd with a computer model says.

What you're saying is not science. The science - what the "nerd with the computer model" - tells you the opposite - that grain barely affects the amount a golf ball breaks. Sorry. You may have heard things, you may think you've seen situations where the grain "makes" the ball break more, but you really haven't.

This one can be filed under the same heading as the old ball flight laws. Yes, some players FEEL like if they swing more in some direction the ball will start there, but we know the ball starts more where the face is pointing than the path.

So believe what you want. At the end of the day, I couldn't care less about "being right" or "being wrong" - I have this site, and I'm an instructor, and I share the information I know because I enjoy helping people. I want to help people. I'm telling you something I believe and in fact know to be true. If you want to ignore it, so be it. But it doesn't matter to me what you do in the end, except that I hope for your sake you absorb the information I'm sharing and use it to better your game. It's not like I win a prize if I'm right about grain, I just get some people to say "thanks, that thing you said about X or Y or Z really helped me."


GD, bent greens don't really have grain, especially bent grains with poa. The grass will "creep" (it's "creeping bent" in many places) and have a "grain" pattern, but it doesn't act like Bermuda. It doesn't really have a "grain" it doesn't really always grow downhill. We don't worry about grain in the northeast.

And greens stimping at 13 or so are cut so low that even the Bermuda greens don't have much of an effect on the speed (and so even less than the virtually negligible amount of effect on break). If you play a Bermuda green that's stimping at 9 or maybe 10 on the super grainy greens, then you'll want to pay attention to grain, and when you're about 30° or less, you'll want to go up or down one chart (down for into the grain, up for down-grain) for your reads. Again, just for putts from 0 to about 30°.

And newer blends of Bermuda like some of the Tiff-Eagle and other kinds are very, very low-grain. So the changes to the speed are even minimal at slower green speeds.

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