VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - Europe’s top golfers have long since used precise yardage books to plot their way to success and this week they will have access to a new putting guide at the BMW PGA Championship.
Australian Graeme Heinrich, who once caddied for Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, has studied every millimeter of the 18 greens at Wentworth in order to supply the players with detailed plans on how to read the tricky putting surfaces.
“Having caddied for many top players in the world like Nick Faldo in the 1990s when he was world number one and Colin Montgomerie later on, I appreciate how fine the line is between being a good player and a truly great one,” said Heinrich.
“My yardage books have always been produced with the aim of helping all players narrow down the exact length they want to hit a shot but this new greens contours book takes it to another level,” he told The Golf Paper.
“For the past five years in America my business colleague Mark Long has produced both types of books for players on the U.S. Tour and Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell have persuaded me to see the potential demand of doing them for Europe,” added Heinrich.
U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer said on Tuesday the players found it particularly difficult to putt well at Wentworth in May, when the British summer has only just begun.
“The only thing this tournament suffers with is the greens every year,” the German explained. “It’s very difficult I think for the greenkeeper to make them as good as they can be.”
World number six Rose has already given Heinrich some positive feedback on his new guide.
”On Monday Justin was playing a practice round at Wentworth,“ said Heinrich. ”I gave him his contour book and he told me he is now going to be much happier putting here.
“The players will probably look at the lines of the putts the way they always have but now know they can look at the contour map and have their gut feelings confirmed.”
World number one Rory McIlroy is the favorite to win the European Tour’s flagship event that starts on Thursday.
Editing by Ken Ferris