Friday, June 24, 2011

Taylor and Simpson Explain How to Putt "Slow" Greens

Because of Thursday's heavy rains at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., players in the Travelers Championship putted greens on Friday that were at speeds well below what they are accustomed. Even so, a number of golfers thrived on greens that are considered "slow" by PGA Tour standards. They were probably rolling under 10 feet on the Stimpmeter, close to a foot less than they would have been without the rain.

Meanwhile, on golf courses all around Cromwell, players on Saturday, today and every other day golf can be played, complained or will complain that the problem with their putting is not their stroke, but the "slow" greens.

Following their rounds, Vaughn Taylor and Webb Simpson explained how they dealt with the conditions on the River Highlands greens. Both were at 9-under-par, Taylor shot 65-66, with one bogey in the second round and none in the first. Simpson shot 66-65, including a bogey-free second round.

They each said there is no secret to putting when greens are not at lightning speeds.

"For a little while in the morning you just got to tell yourself on the first few putts that you just got to hit it a little harder than you are used to. And then you know, it's just like anything else. We just kind of adapt to it and you get used to it the rest of the day," Simpson said. "And you might want to watch other guys putt in your group a little more to see how hard they hit and see how far the ball rolls out."

Hmm, hit it harder and watch others in your group. That seems to be good advice for any level of player.

Taylor's technique was less technical.

"It's difficult at times. Definitely on uphill putts you gotta give it—definitely give it some extra steam. But I myself, I do it by sight," Taylor said. "I can just visually tell that the greens are slower, and that's kind of the way I do it. I don't like to try and hit putts harder or firmer."

From there, he had a difficult time conveying exactly how he adjusts.

"So I just kind of use my instincts and kind of adjust that way. Just kind of adjusting without adjusting if that makes any sense," he said and chuckled.

(Vaughn Taylor reads a putt at the 2010 The Barclays at Ridgewood. Photo )

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