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Know Thy Grass


Many golfers head south after they retire, but if you've played golf in the Northeast or Midwest all your life, you may be in for a bit of a surprise when you head out for your first rounds in Florida or Arizona. The reason? Most courses in the southern United States use Bermuda grass on their greens, rather than the Bentgrass common to colder climates. The difference can take some getting used to.

Bentgrass has a softer and lighter texture than Bermuda, which means that a Bentgrass putting surface is much smoother and more uniform - it's almost like putting on a soft pool table. Your ball will roll much truer on a bent green, which means that you have to pay less attention to the grain of the putting surface.

Bermuda, on the other hand, is a wiry grass whose grain makes for a slower putting surface, and also accentuates both the break and speed of your putts. For this reason, you need to know which way the grain is running relative to your golf ball.

Stand behind your golf ball on the green and check the color of the grass between your golf ball and the hole. If it's light or silvery, you're putting with the grain and your putts will roll faster and break harder than normal. You'll want to ease up on this type of putt and play for more break than you think you have. But if the grass appears to be dark green, you're putting against the grain and your ball will roll slower than usual. Hit these putts a little more firmly, and play the break as you read it











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