The golfing advice continues with our series, “Tips from a Golf Pro.” In the latest installment, Bud Taylor, director of golf at Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, has some advice to help golfers transition from northerly bentgrass greens to putting on South Florida’s bermudagrass lies.
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Players returning from a summer spent on bentgrass and poa annua greens will find different putting surfaces in South Florida, where most greens are bermudagrass. Because this variety of grass grows horizontally along the ground, “grain”—or the direction the grass grows—comes into play more prominently. It’s important that golfers recognize how this affects the ball.
If the grass is a little brown on one side of the cup, that’s the direction the grain is growing. The ball will have a tendency, especially as it slows down, to break toward this side.
Secondly, if you notice the bermudagrass appears “shiny” or a very light green from some angles, this indicates you are viewing the green when it is down-grain and the grass is growing away from you. Putts from these angles will be faster than putts into the grain, so adjust accordingly.
- If you have a golf question you would like answered by Bud Taylor, email the online editor.
As director of golf at Old Palm Golf Club, Bud Taylor is in charge of all things golf, from tournament and instruction to upkeep and maintenance. The immaculate play and top-notch instruction pays dividends to the hard work Taylor puts in. An approbation of his work comes through not only the superb play of the course and its members but also through PGA Tour and European Tour professional Louis Oostheizen, an Old Palm resident who holds the current World Golf Ranking of 12. The impact of Old Palm is limited to such a professional golfer as Oosheizen, whose game takes him around the world for most of the year, but during the offseason it is not a rarity to find him tinkering with his game at Old Palm’s Golf Studio.
Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Taylor started a career in golf soon after graduating from Kentucky’s Morehead State University, becoming a PGA of America Certified Master Professional. Before taking the reigns at Old Palm in 2009, Taylor was the director of golf at PGA of America’s golf club and all-around golfer’s utopia, PGA Village in St. Lucie.