Time for a Bentgrass and Bermudagrass Lesson

Westhaven Golf Club

Williamson County residents may have started to see construction vehicles and dirt moving around at Westhaven Golf Club in Franklin as the club recently began a greens renovation project which includes changing the greens from Bentgrass to Bermudagrass and redesigning 11 of the greens complexes.

The two most common types of grass for golf course greens are Bentgrass and Bermudagrass. Bentgrass thrives in cooler climates and is typically seen more in northern states, while Bermudagrass loves the heat and is more commonly seen in the South. There are many exceptions to this rule, but it is generally a good guideline.

In golf, putting is an imperfect science. There are several factors golfers have to consider when reading greens: slope, wind direction, even moisture.  But arguably the most important factor -and one that most amateurs might not ever consider – is the type of grass. Bentgrass and Bermudagrass might not be easy to distinguish for the untrained golfer’s eye, but once you know the telltale signs, you will be much better equipped for their unique challenges.

Pay attention to the grain
The biggest difference between the two types of grass is that Bermuda has a more prominent grain (the direction the grass is growing) that will affect the break of the putt.  Typically, the ball will break in the direction the grain is growing, and if you don’t properly read the grain, you could be caught off guard.

Focus on the color
The color of the grass can tell you a lot about how your ball will react on Bermuda.  If the grass looks shiny, it means you are putting down grain, and the putt will be fast.  When it looks dull, you are heading uphill and will have a slower putt.

Get a feel around the greens
With Bermuda greens, the areas surrounding the greens are also typically Bermuda. That means grain will still be a factor, but it will also impact your chip and pitch shots. Shots into the grain can grab your club and make it difficult to get the ball to the hole.

If you can get comfortable with all of the tips above, you can start to focus on lag putting. Longer putts will require all of your Bermuda knowledge – specifically which direction the grain is growing – in order to consistently secure easy two-putts.

Westhaven Golf Club is located at 4000 Golf Club Lane | Franklin, Tennessee 37064. Learn more here: golfwesthaven.com.