Finally got a birdie on the index 1 on my home course, its my first ever and it came because of a mishit 9 iron, it's a 440 yard par 4 with a narrow dogleg at about the 220 yard from the tee mark. I had a good drive and left myself 150 yards out but I fatted a 9 iron about 90 yards. I hit a 56 degree wedge perfectly from 60 yards and it took two hops and fell straight in for my first ever hole out from any further than a nGIR distance. Delighted with the shot in what was a poor round
My home course closes its range for maintenance Monday mornings or Tuesday if a holiday falls on the Monday. The sign indicates they re-open by 1 p.m. That makes sense for them. It's always a busy course, but evening leagues are really big business. Closing at 3 p.m. seems a bit odd to me, but if that suits the course's clientele, that's what they'll do.
I hate mats. We usually get stuck with the damn things after October. It is a much better thing that the course close the range for a brief period of time once a week and keep the turf up to snuff.
Replace the grip if you want, but a new putter won't matter (unless it makes you practice more).
There's some great putting and short game drills in chapter 9 of Every Shot Counts by Mark Broadie. His drills are also games, with scoring that measures objective skill level.
Also recommend The Putting Bible by Dave Pelz.