In the spirit of this week’s PGA event at TPC San Antonio, I wanted to discuss the repulsive creation that is bermuda grass. Its presence blankets the majority of courses in the southern states. That in itself should be all the evidence of suckiness you need, considering there’s only a handful of worthy tracks down south to begin with. Unfortunately, my hatred runs much, much deeper for this glorified weed and further angry ranting is in order.

First things first, let’s discuss why bermuda grass is even permitted on any golf course. The weed, as it shall be referred to from here on, is extremely durable and thrives in hot dry areas. It also requires moderate watering, almost no fertilizing, is resistant to other forms of weeds and, for the most part, is disease free. What does that mean? Less work and accountability for course superintendents everywhere. Basically, anyone with John Deere and a tomato garden in their backyard can manage a track covered in this weed, which ironically accounts for roughly 75% of the population in the southern United States.

If you’ve ever played on bermuda grass, err, this weed, then you will certainly be able to relate to what I’m about to say.  Everyone who has played on bermuda grass, and isn’t accustomed to it, find themselves trying to pick the ball when they play on it. You simply can’t help it. The ball appears to be sitting up, like you’re hitting off wall-to-wall carpeting in the living room. This often results in thin iron shots and bladed wedges. There’s nothing like piping a drive down the middle, having a short iron or wedge into a green, only to catch your second shot thin, forcing yourself to get up and down from the backside bunker.  Do that on the first hole and you’ve likely mentally fucked yourself for the rest of the round. You’re only savior is to immediately locate the cart girl and start drinking.

In the rare cases where you are fortunate enough that your thin shot happened to catch a piece of the rough on the front edge of the green and trickle on for a birdie opportunity, you now have to deal with the putrid grain associated with this weed. Sure, every type of grass has grain that affect putts in different ways, but this weed magnifies that affect to the fullest. Find yourself on the front edge of a green with a back pin location, against the grain, pull the 9-iron. It’s a much better option that imitating Happy Gilmore before Chubbs hooked him up with the hockey stick. Just try not to reward your decision with a four foot downhill tester, with the grain, for par. When you three-putt for bogey, find the cart girl again.

Because writing this is starting to bring back bad memories and piss me off, I’m going to wrap this up with some random hating. You can’t spin the ball as easily on bermuda grass. For highly* skilled players like myself, it chafes my ass when I can’t bring back the 5-iron to the tucked pin location. Playing in shorts? Oh that’s right, it’s likely hot as fuck. Enjoy the itchy sand-like residue that jumps onto your legs and into your golf shoes after shots. That really contributes to a good mood during a shitty round. And if you’re unfortunate enough to play on wet bermuda, enjoy the plethora of invisible insects that take to spawning in this particular weed.

My personal recommendation when playing a weed track, befriend the cart girl and keep her close.

*12 handicap is highly skilled, right?

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