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Southern Grasses

Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:58 pm
by GBOGEY
Okay so I'm going to be playing a lot of southern grasses this weekend and in the future. By that I mean Bermuda and all the other varieties. To be blunt, I've learned golf in the Northeast and I love bent grass. I'm a former southerner and I can't stand this Bermuda stuff for playing golf. So any hints / advice out there for those of you who play in the South a lot?

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 7:32 am
by DougE
I hate Bermuda grass. Gets in my head. Bermuda rough mostly. Like you, most of my golf is played on bent grasses too. However, I play a lot in Florida over the winters due to my Mom and sisters and their families all living in the Sarasota area since the 90s. So I go there at least a week or two a year and usually play 5-8 rounds each time I'm there.

One thought I would convey is to be sure to use your body (core/shoulders), not your hands and arms to get through the ball on chips and pitches. This applies on any type turf, but particularly so in Bermuda rough.

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:34 am
by GBOGEY
I chipped at the range for a long time last night. I've adopted a chipping style that has the ball closer to the middle of my stance but it seems with Bermuda it's best to put it a little further back. It also seems to me, not sure, that balls landing on the fringe have a less predictable bounce and that it's often a little easier to hit a flop if the ball is sitting up.

Don't get me started on fairway rough - I have no clue - but for some reason I feel that iron shots are going a little shorted than usual. Need more testing on that one.

Most of the greens are now this zioysia type stuff. Not as grainy as Bermuda but I find them harder to read. Plus, they seem to always be rock hard so stopping a ball does't seem as easy. That's my observations after a few rounds. Anybody have other thoughts?

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:34 am
by jasonfish11
I grew up on bermuda grass. It took me a long time to get use to bent grass. To this day I prefer bermuda.

Reading the grain is super easy, bermuda grows with the slope. So up hill is into the grain down hill is with the grain. This sucks when you are chipping/pitching on an uphill lie. But if you remember to use the bounce (or hybrid if possible) it's not that bad. I grew up with high bounce clubs and learning to chip off the bounce and not the leading edge. Practice chipping on super soggy turf. Its basically the same. If you use the leading edge it will grab and you'll fat it.

For putts down hill will be faster and uphill will be slower than you think. Also play more break. When I switched to bent grass I was missing tons of putts on the high side, and my speed control was off. I honestly believe this was what actually led to my yipps. It took me nearly 5 years to get comfortable putting again. I grew up and never had putting issues, my dad use to joke about how hard I hit 3' putts because of my confidence in my putting stroke. Then I moved to TN and quickly picked up a case of the yipps.

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:17 pm
by Duke of Hazards
I don't even know the difference, to be honest. I think we have warm season grasses here.

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:48 pm
by GBOGEY
jasonfish11 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:34 am
Reading the grain is super easy, bermuda grows with the slope. So up hill is into the grain down hill is with the grain. This sucks when you are chipping/pitching on an uphill lie. But if you remember to use the bounce (or hybrid if possible) it's not that bad. I grew up with high bounce clubs and learning to chip off the bounce and not the leading edge. Practice chipping on super soggy turf. Its basically the same. If you use the leading edge it will grab and you'll fat it.

For putts down hill will be faster and uphill will be slower than you think. Also play more break. When I switched to bent grass I was missing tons of putts on the high side, and my speed control was off. I honestly believe this was what actually led to my yipps. It took me nearly 5 years to get comfortable putting again. I grew up and never had putting issues, my dad use to joke about how hard I hit 3' putts because of my confidence in my putting stroke. Then I moved to TN and quickly picked up a case of the yipps.
Did better with it today. Really tried to open the clubface to use the bounce - every chip was really good except for one that checked up.

Putting remains challenging on this stuff.

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:55 pm
by bkuehn1952
Hey!!??!! I want to know more about this move and less about opening club faces and bounce!! So you are abandoning the North for some backwater, mosquito infested, hill billy, heaven??

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:59 pm
by srogers13
bkuehn1952 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 7:55 pm
Hey!!??!! I want to know more about this move and less about opening club faces and bounce!! So you are abandoning the North for some backwater, mosquito infested, hill billy, heaven??
I thought that described New Jersey. :thumbs

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:28 pm
by GBOGEY
bkuehn1952 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 7:55 pm
Hey!!??!! I want to know more about this move and less about opening club faces and bounce!! So you are abandoning the North for some backwater, mosquito infested, hill billy, heaven??
I only respond to personal stuff in members only.

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:15 pm
by GBOGEY
So I feel like I'm starting to get this stuff - JFish see if you agree:
  • Chipping - yes use more bounce. You also have to get a little pop into the air for your chips. A low chip will skid and run out more than you intend.
  • Putting - still working on the grain thing, but dry greens roll much faster and wet greens much slower. In other words, more variability than bent grass.
  • I still think Bermuda is harder to read but seems to roll a little truer.
    Approach - shots tend to roll out more as the bermuda is generally firmer than bent grass

Re: Southern Grasses

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:58 am
by jasonfish11
All of them seem reasonable. I never thought of #3 personally but theoretically it makes sense.

The real difference is bent grass lays upright (ie points straight up into the air). Bermuda lays on its side a little (pointing down hill). All things being equal, I assume this means it will be more compact and therefore seem "firmer".

But the firmness could just be the type of soil it grows in as well. Growing up in the swamp owned by a mouse known as Florida "firm" was never really a word I associated with golf course.

As for rolling truer I have always argued that with an exception of putts into the grain that haven't recently been mowed (late day or they couldn't mow for some reason).

I still love playing on Bermuda more than bent but I feel like I am the only person who has that opinion, and it's probably because I blame bent grass for getting the putting yips, because owning the blame isn't something normal people do.