The greens over here are lightning fast, and I just cannot get used to them. No matter how lightly I strike the ball with my putter, the ball rolls and rolls way past the hole, sometimes even down to the other side of the green. I cannot believe it, which I say out loud, as if not my fault and out of my control.
On average I've been three-putting five to six holes a round, and once even had a four putt from only ten feet away, ouch. The last round I played at my home course, the greens were rough and bumpy, requiring large sweeps of the putter to get the ball barely to the hole. Sometimes I'd whack the ball so hard and it would stop way short of the hole, even downhill putts.
Another difference is that all of the distances are in yards instead of meters. Not that that is such a big deal, one yard being about 0.9 meters, but over longer distances this can mean a whole club less. Just yesterday, with the wind at my back I hit a hard seven iron to the back of the green on a 165 yard par 3 hole, which is about 150 yards, my usual seven iron distance. This might seem at first like a slight adjustment, hitting merely one club less, but psychologically the effect is much greater. I have this feeling at the back of my mind that I have to hit the ball much harder, as 165 yards sounds and/or feels much further than 150 yards, which can mess up my swing.
Now I need to re-adjust, but that will not be easy. I've played twice and barely broke eighty both times: 79 + 79. If I could only putt more gently, stop three putting and switching between meters and yards, my scores would be much better.
Putting more gently would not be enough, however. A slower velocity means that the ball will be affected by the break much more. There are alot of curvy greens here, some bevelled in such a way that balls hit too far will roll off the side of the green, past the fringe and into the high grass. Several times I've somehow managed to kiss the ball just right, only to see it curve outside the lip at the last couple inches. Putt with confidence and watch the ball drop in the heart of the hole, they always told me.
Oh well, no one promised that golf would be easy. That's why I like it so much. Now it's time to prove myself in the home country, thirty plus years later, pretending and enjoying it all at the same time. Who cares about the occasional three putt and double bogie, when I can laugh and shake it off, getting that valuable birdie once in awhile.