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Turf Talk with the Perfect Putter

Turf Talk with the Perfect Putter

Enough with the technique, it’s time to talk turf.

 

Golf just wouldn’t be the same without those closely mown, carefully manicured putting surfaces that we all hate to love and love to hate. Most players get caught up in how much slope and undulation is on a green, and rightfully so. When it matters most, you have to be totally dialed in on the break and speed (let’s hope you were able to warm up with your Perfect Putter before the round).

 

But beyond the slope, have you ever thought about the actual type of grass that occupies the greens you’re playing on?

If you’re anything like most newcomers to the game, at first you probably didn’t give it a second thought. In fact, even some seasoned players (good players) wouldn’t be able to say in complete confidence if they were playing on Bermuda or Bentgrass.

Hopefully that’s all about to change, as we’ll look at a three of the most popular types of grass found on greens across the United States.

As first mentioned in our [list of favorite golf courses (link to http://www.theperfectputter.com/index.php/blogs/entry/the-perfect-putter-s-top-3-greens-in-golf),] different types of grass have very different characteristics. It’s important, however, to note that many courses use a mixture of grasses, for example Poa Annua and Bentgrass can both occupy one green, in order to maximize playability all year long.

With that said, we’ll begin with Poa Annua, followed by taking a joined look at Bentgrass and Bermuda.

Poa Annua

Also known as annual bluegrass, Poa Annua is a type of surface that, when properly maintained, is a wonderful and sometimes very fast green to play on. But (and this is a big but), Poa Annua also has a reputation for not being the prettiest greens to look at, or the fairest.

Poa Annua becomes increasingly spongy over the course of a day and leaving behind a trail of shoe and spike marks is very common, so be cautious and aware of that. The result is balls that bounce and lose their line. Here’s a famous example of a ball bouncing on Poa Annua, but DID manage to keep its line – from the South Course at Torrey Pines in 2008:

In addition to Torrey Pines, you can find Poa Annua at: Cypress Point Club | Shinnecock Hills | Pebble Beach | Oakmont Country Club | Winged Foot (West)

 

Bermuda and Bentgrass

 

The following two grass types, Bermuda and Bentgrass are the preferred choice for golf course operators today. The main reason for this is how closely you can mow without stressing the plant. This means ground crews are able to facilitate the smoothest and fastest greens imaginable.

 

Where the course is located will usually determine which type of grass will go on the greens. Bermuda seems to grow best in hot, wet southern climates, while Bentgrass does very well up north.

 

The More You Know

Lastly, If you frequent a course and still aren’t exactly familiar with what type of grass makes up the tee boxes, fairways, and greens, don’t be afraid to ask someone on the grounds crew or the pro shop.

With this knowledge, you’ll become far more golf savvy by broadening your practical knowledge grasses types. Rest assured, this information can become very useful in the future.

So whether you’re rolling it on Poa Annua, Bentgrass, or Bermuda (or another type of grass that we didn’t mention), until next time, we’ll see you on your practice green.

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