Thick matted kikuyu fairways

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By PDoherty

  • 2 Replies
  1. I'm in the tropics at 5000 feet, amazing weather. We have thick matted Kituku fairways with unusually thick grass roots down there, in some places the grass is about an inch long. For long shots it is fine, no run but the altitude compensates. But when pitching the grass/roots can grab the club and the ball laughs at me as it sits there!

    My local pros like L grind, I am using M grind. (When I use the vokey wedge selector tool I am recommended S and M grind, which seems to me to be correct for the ground but the tool does not consider the grass)

    When pitching we are supposed to use the bounce. But but but but ....the grass grabs my club.

    I am shallow in attack. Do I need to 1) pick the ball clean 2) sharpen the leading edge, so its a knife 3) other ......

    Yes I know the right answer is to scarify the fairways but the owners are not doing this, they have been told!!!!!

  2. Dale V

    Dale V
    Surprise AZ

    I feel your pain. Our course here in the San Diego area has kikuya grass around all our greens and I too struggle with that shot. When I try a low bounce wedge, the leading edge digs in and I catch it fat too often. High bounce and the springy kikuya kicks the club up into the ball and I get thin shots. For me, my best solution is to use my 43 degree T300 Gap as much as possible, unless I am short-sided or need to clear a bunker. Hope you get it figured out. At least you get to play and enjoy your tropical weather. Hit'm straight and stay safe!
  3. Turf conditions like yours are challenging for any player- even on tour, watch how players struggle to judge the strike playing out of grainy, gnarly kikuya or bermuda grass. Your answer is probably not equipment based, but technique. Out of any tricky lie, ball-first contact is key and that is helped by a descending angle of attack. You may have to accept a lower trajectory pitch and more run-out. Focus on finding the bottom of your swing arc and adjusting your ball position to ensure a descending strike. The bounce is there to protect against digging the club into the ground. "Using the bounce" does not always mean sweeping the ground with the sole- that works on tight lies but not sticky, grainy ones. Slightly open clubface, descending strike will get you out of any turf jam.

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