Thousands of golfers travel to play Kapalua and Hawaii every year to enjoy top-notch courses, amazing weather, and spectacular views. One of the most important aspects of playing golf at Kapalua and most courses in Hawaii are adjusting to the greens. Most courses on the islands are constructed with different greens than what you are used to playing at home. What type of grass do you ask? At Kapalua, our greens are made up with Bermuda grass.
What makes Bermuda grass so different? You will hear a lot of players come to Kapalua and leave a little confused with reading the greens and how to play the course. Bermuda is unique in that reading the greens require an extra level of attention. To have success playing a course with Bermuda grass, the player must first understand what grain is and how it influences the way the ball rolls. The term grain refers to the way the grass grows and the way the break of the ball will roll. There are 2 key tips that you can use to learn the grain.
Tip #1, feel the green with your hand or putter to which way the grass stands up or lays down. Bermuda grass is a lot like the hair on your head. “Into the grain” means that the grass is leaning toward you and the ball will roll slower due to this. “With the grain” means the opposite as the grass is laying down and will tend to add a few inches to the speed of the putt.
Tip #2 is crucial and should be part of your putting routine when playing at Kapalua. Make sure you look at the cup and identify which part of the hole has a burnt edge. This is the easiest way to know which way the grain is growing. If the left side of the cup is the burnt edge, the grain is growing to the left and will tend to break that way near the hole. The same applies to whichever edge of the cup has the burnt edge.
We hope you enjoy these tips when playing at Kapalua and Bermuda greens. Remember to always have fun and pay a little more attention to the grain when playing!