Originally Posted by bjwestner
I'm playing in a tournament this Friday and Saturday (well, I'm supposed to play, the snow storm may cancel this). The course that the tournament is going to be at is different from most of the courses in the area that I live/play in because it has a Bermuda blend for the fairways and Bermuda greens. I've played the course twice before, once back in October of last year and then I also played a "recon" round last Saturday afternoon.
Most courses in the area including my country club have bent grass for the greens and then some other kind of blend for the fairways (rye?). I'm looking for any suggestions or things to be careful of while I'm playing in this tournament. When my playing partner and I played the recon round on Saturday, it was cold (33 degrees) and snowing (flurries). I noticed that the greens especially are much harder in setup (many more undulations and things like that). The dormant bermuda greens seemed fast compared to the bent greens that I am used to playing on.
I also noticed a big difference on the fairways. I'm pretty sure that they are a bermuda blend too, you could tell that the grass was dormant because of the color (or lack thereof) which leads me to believe that it's a bermuda blend. The fairways seemed like carpet compared to the fairways that I am used to playing. It seemed to me that I just had to make sure to hit down on the ball even more so than on the fairways that I am used to playing.
Any insights on this? Your help is appreciated!
In North Texas, we mostly only have Bermuda. I played a course with bent grass when I was in Alabama, and found myself missing most putts outside the hole. Bermuda I think usually breaks more, but is ESPECIALLY sensitive to grain. With it dormant, it will he harder to see the grain (light/dark green colors are an indicator in spring and summer), so my best advice is to walk up to the cup. Unless you're one of the first groups to play a freshly cut hole, you'll see the spots on each cup that the grass is mangled looking. Whatever direction on the cup that is at is down grain, so if you're putting toward the hole and the beat up side is on your side of the cup, you're putting against the grain, so it will be a slower putt. Visa versa, if that side is on the opposing side of the cup, you're going down grain, and can be lightning fast. Same goes for side to side grains. Typically the grain follows the slope of a break, but sometime can be counter to it. So when you read a putt to break 4" left, it may break 18" left or none at all, depending on what direction the grain goes.
The rough is also different with Bermuda, as I believe it tends to grab the face more than other types of grass. Someone will have to confirm or correct me on that one, I'm not 100% on that fact.
My best advice though, is make sure you go to the cup and try to get a read on the grain. It can be as much if not more important than the overall slope. Hit practice putts from all around the practice holes, at dying pace, and watch how quickly and hard it can move your ball. Good luck!