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Putting Tricks on Bermuda Grass in Florida

Most golf courses in the northern part of the United States are made up of Bent grasses.  Bent grass, is a cool season grass that contains that “plush” green color and extremely smooth putting surfaces.  

Bermuda grass, which is what Cypress Creek Country Club is mainly made up of, has many different colors to it.  Bermuda putting greens have a grainy texture to them which can make reading greens much more difficult.  
Check out the picture below of this young man on a Bermuda putting surface:
Putting Trick Photos for Blog

As you can see, where he is standing is a darker color than what is behind him.  When you are reading your putts on Bermuda greens, take a look at the grass to see if you are putting into a darker area or a lighter, “shinier” area.  Putting into darker areas mean that you are going against the grain, which can cause your ball to roll out less (slower) as well as cause your ball to take more break than normal.  When putting into a shiny section of the green, you are going with the grain, which will cause your ball to roll out more (faster) and cause your ball break less on certain putts.  Be aware, the grain on the green tends to follow the setting sun.  So a putt that is into the grain in the morning, could be with the grain in the afternoon! 

If you are struggling to find whether you are into the grain or against it, take a look at the cup itself for some help:  
Putting Trick Photos for Blog

This a typical cup that you will see on a grainy Bermuda putting surface.  As you can see, the front side of the cup is cut very sharp and clean while the back left side of the cup is more roughly cut without a clear defining line of the cup.  

This means that the grain is growing from the back to the front of the cup.  For example, if you have to roll your ball over the shaggy side of the cup for it to go in, then you are putting with the grain or “down grain.”  So if you see shiny surface looking from behind your ball at the hole, and the shaggy side of the cup is the front side of the cup, the putt will be slightly quicker than usual.

Ultimately, putting on Bermuda greens require a few more steps to reading the putts correctly.  Take your time once you get on the green, and now instead of just looking for the contours of the greens, use these little tricks to help you make more putts this winter season! Enjoy!