How to Read Bermuda Greens
By Carling Nolan
Even if you play golf all the time up north, that doesn’t mean you know how to read Bermuda greens.
Nobody wants to travel hundreds of miles to find themselves with a case of the three whacks. If you’re from the Midwest, then you’re used to Bent grass greens, but down here we roll with Bermuda grass.
Lucky for you, Bermuda greens are much easier to read than you might think. Here are a few tips:
1. It’s all about grain. This means you should pay attention to which way the grass is growing. Putting against the grain will be slow, and with the grain will be fast.
2. Whenever you're putting downhill, the grass will look shiny. This is because you are looking down-grain.
3. Whenever you're putting uphill, the grass will look dull. This is because you're looking into the grain.
4. Look at the cup. There will be one side of the hole that will look fuzzy or burned. This is because of grain. On the clean side, the grass is able to grow over the side of the cup. On the burned side, the grass is growing away from the cup where it leaves a space that looks fuzzy.
5. The ball will always break over the clean side, hit against the fuzzy side, and then drop in. For example, if the fuzzy side is on the right side of the hole, then your putt will break from left to right.
6. Remember that the ball will only break once it slows down. If you aren’t sure which way it will break, then put more pace on your putt and don’t aim outside the cup.
7. Pay attention to where natural water is. The grass will naturally grow toward rivers, creeks, and oceans.
It may seem complicated at first, but take some time to roll a few putts and learn how to read Bermuda greens, and you’ll have it down in no time.
My favorite place to practice my putting is at Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. They have a quick practice putting green with flat and breaking putts. It’s the perfect spot for some real Bermuda greens reading practice!
If you go…
Abacoa Golf Club
Hit ‘em straight!