The Grass Edition


21 November 2016 (Pasadena, CA) Well the title and photo sure got your attention! Welcome to SoCalGolfBlog’s (puff, puff) grass edition. Allow me to let you down easy now…it is the grass edition, not the weed edition! I’m just working on my marketing (i.e. bait and switch) skills. Today I am actually writing on grasses used in different regions of the US and world. Nothing comprehensive, hopefully nothing boring, just a brief tutorial for the average golfer. Why? Because I encountered a grass known as bermuda in San Antonio, TX that literally smothered my clubs and arse! Now this drought resistant grass is popular on most courses in the southern/southeastern region of the United States. When mowed at green and fairway length it fairly benign. I actually liked it on the fairway but its lack of grain characteristics made reading greens more challenging than I am used to. The real problem was the rough areas. This hardy specimen takes on sponge-like characteristics when grown out making clean contact with your ball almost impossible. I quickly learned to take my medicine and club way down just to put the ball back in play. The few instances I tried to get a hybrid on the ball from the rough were disastrous. I think a fair comparison can be made with cacuya grasses familiar on some of the finest courses in the southwest United States (e.g. Riviera and Torrey Pines). Cacuya, likes its southern counterpart, is almost impossible to hit out of the rough with any force or accuracy. The difference is, cacuya looks like a shite prison, whereas bermuda takes on the appearance of a soft green pillow just off the fairway making it all the more insidious. One can argue that the fescue roughs featured on most links courses in Scotland and Ireland are the most penalizing, but ground keepers have to grow it out almost a foot for full effect. No, for my money, bermuda is the beast. Charming in appearance, resembling the fairway bermuda almost identically, but deadly like quicksand. So to the La Cantera Resort and Palmer courses, thank you for the education. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

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