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A simple 2-step method to learn tricky Bermuda greens

You should do these two things when learning Bermuda greens.

Ed. Note: This version of Play Smart is published in partnership with XXIO.

If you’ve never played Bermuda grass greens, putting them is an outdoor experience. The ball never reacts the way you expect, and can make you pull your hair out when the cycle is over.

The reason Bermuda greens are so tricky is that you don’t only have to worry about the slope on your putts, but the grain – ie the direction in which the grass grows – as well.

Bermuda grass is commonly seen on courses in warmer climates, so if you’re from the north, you may not have much experience playing on the treacherous surface. If you’re planning on going to a course with Bermuda grass, however, it might help to familiarize yourself with the nuances of the grass before you get there so you can play your best golf.

XXIO Ambassador Nathalie Sheehan, who teaches at Pelican Golf Club in Florida, knows a thing or two about how to learn Bermuda grass greens, and in this edition of Play Smart, she shares a few of her secrets with us. Check them out below.

Check the color

One of the easiest ways to learn the grain of Bermuda grass is by looking at the color of the grass. As the blades grow farther away from you (to make faster putts) the green will appear brighter and brighter. But when the grain grows around you, the grass will appear dark.

“The dark grass will go into the grain,” said Sheehan. “Those blades of grass are bent toward you—they’re growing toward you. So that golf ball is going to have a tough time. It’s fighting those grasses as it faces the dark grass, so it’s going to be slow.”

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Analyze the cup

Another key to reading grain is to step up to the cup and examine the grass around the hole. Usually, one edge of the cup will look a little worn or worn more than the rest. This is the direction in which the grain grows and the ball will usually break when it gets close to the cup.

“You’re going to see that as a funnel,” Sheehan said. “Everything around the hole wants to go out into the brown area.”

If you can keep these two keys in mind when you’re on the Bermuda greens, you’ll have a much easier time learning your putts and you’ll make more birdies. Give it a shot.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Before joining the GOLF team, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists in all instruction and covers youth and women’s golf. He can be reached at

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