Golf legend Tiger Woods has continually shown love for his native California, but despite his ties to the Golden State, the athlete has lived 2,000 miles away in Florida for the last two decades.
For those who've wondered why the five-time Masters champion switched coasts, he recently explained part of the reason in an episode of Golf Digest's My Game: Tiger Woods — Shotmaking Secrets.
"One of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to play around the world is to be able to handle all different types of [grass] conditions," Woods, who moved to Florida in 1996, says in the episode.
"One of the reasons why I moved down to the South and got out of California is, it’s very easy to play there [in California]," he continued. "Coming to Florida and learning how to putt on Bermuda [grass], learning how to chip on Bermuda, it took years. So, that’s just one of those things that I’ve learned through experience."
According to Golfweek, Bermuda grass is used on golf courses in warm-weather areas, such as Florida and Georgia. It's known for withstanding heat and being drought resistant, and for repairing itself quickly after being mowed, the outlet said.
But playing on the grass can be demanding even for experienced golfers, and requires strategy.
"The grain of the grass plays a considerable role in the performance of the clubface through the impact zone," Mark Immelman of Golf.com says in an explainer of how to play on Bermuda grass. "Essentially, into-the-grain and down-grain lies have vastly different influences on strike quality and spin and trajectory control."
It's safe to say Woods hasn't been too shabby on Bermuda grass (or any type of grass, for that matter) over his long and storied career.
This week, the 44-year-old is getting ready for the Zozo Championship, which he won in 2019 by three strokes. It's a part of his preparation for the Masters, which will kick off in November.
"I think my plan is just to play and practice," he told ESPN. "I don't know if I'm going to play [at the Houston Open] or not. I'm not playing next week, and we'll see how this week goes and make a decision from there."
Woods is also dealing with the strangeness of the Masters tournament being played in November, far from its typical start date in April.
"It's not normally this time of year," he explained to ESPN. "It's not normally played this way, the configuration of events. We're not in a Florida swing. This is all different. This whole year's been different for all of us."
"The fact that the Masters will be held in November, it's unprecedented, never been done before," he said. "I can't simulate the normal ramp-up that I normally have, and I don't think anyone else can either. It will be different for all of us."
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