Josh Culp

Culp's Corner

print article archives RSS

Split the Surface: Bentgrass

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Welcome back to the Split the Surface series. In part one I dove into performance on bermudagrass greens. Now I will take a peek at performance on bentgrass (and poa annua) greens. 

 
I grouped these two surface types together because it's often hard to draw the line between the two. Often courses will list their greens as a mixture of bentgrass and poa. However they will rarely list how dominant each type is. That dominance would likely change based on the time of year and/or weather leading up to the event so we have grouped them for simplicity's sake. 
 
I've been tracking data based on grass types since the start of 2014. For this article, I will take a very simplistic look at the data to see if we can find out golfers that are worth diving into and potentially targeting when bentgrass courses come around. 
 
BENTGRASS SCORE = Annual Rank of Per-Round Performance on Bentgrass minus the Annual Rank of Per-Round Performance on Other Grass Types (Bermuda, Paspalum). I will do this for each of the last four years and if a golfer's bentgrass yearly rank is higher than their "other" rank then I add one to their bentgrass score. 
 
To avoid small samples I will only look at golfers that played 30+ rounds on bent/poa AND other grasses during each year. Since 2014, this amounts to a subset of 105-to-120 golfers each year. 
 
After summing the bentgrass scores for each of the past four years, we will have three notable categories. Going in reverse order from the bermuda article, let's kick things off with the two golfers that got a perfect 4-out-of-4 score on bentgrass. 
 
Loves Bentgrass (+4 Bentgrass Score)

2017: Ranked 14th in bentgrass performance, 18th on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 54th in bentgrass performance, 67th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 41st in bentgrass performance, 58th on other grass types.
2014: Ranked 30th in bentgrass performance, 50th on other grass types.
Summary: This one may seem odd to anyone that associates the lefty with the University of Georgia and then associates UGA with bermuda. However, we can head back to TPC Boston in 2015 to hear this from Harman, "a lot of the amateur golf we played in high school and college was played on this northern bentgrass, really good turf, and I enjoy playing golf on this turf. Yeah, the courses up here suit me. I think they're beautiful. And down south this time of year it can get so humid that Bermuda is totally different." Then we look at his 10 best finishes on TOUR and see that seven of them have come on bent or poa. 
 
2017: Ranked 16th in bentgrass performance, 28th on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 10th in bentgrass performance, 30th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 4th in bentgrass performance, 10th on other grass types.
2014: Ranked 15th in bentgrass performance, 17th on other grass types.
Summary: Looking at Reed's rankings on all grass types, he is very good. That means this is not a case of fading Reed on a particular surface. Instead, we just want to give him a slight boost on bent or poa. Adding to the stats, Reed had this to say back in 2016 at Colonial CC when he was asked about bentgrass greens, "Those are always nice (Bentgrass Greens). Anytime you can get bentgrass greens, that just means one less factor. You don't have all that really grainy Bermuda." Another golfer that went to school down in Georgia but this Texan would rather keep it simple with bentgrass. 
 

Likes Bentgrass (+3 Bentgrass Score)

2017: Ranked 3rd in bentgrass performance, 6th on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 3rd in bentgrass performance, 5th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 3rd in bentgrass performance, 9th on other grass types.
2014: Did not reach 30 rounds.
Summary: Much like Patty Reed, this is not a case of fading elsewhere (he's top 10 on OTHER in each of the past three years). For three straight years, though, he's been THIRD when it comes to performance on bentgrass. That is elite. Said this back at the 2016 Travelers, "It adds to the beauty because I love playing on po greens. They've got a little bent in there as well." 
 
2017: Ranked 89th in bentgrass performance, 113th on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 17th in bentgrass performance, 95th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 47th in bentgrass performance, 105th on other grass types.
2014: Did not reach 30 rounds.
Summary: The Ohio native grew up caddying on the fast, bentgrass greens of Muirfield Village. Perhaps that is the foundation of his bentgrass success. He's finished T11 or better 11 times on TOUR, with NINE of them coming on bentgrass or poa. His baseline stats aren't notable but he does make a juicy DFS flyer when bent or poa are on the docket.
 
2017: Ranked 26th in bentgrass performance, 43rd on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 31st in bentgrass performance, 36th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 11th in bentgrass performance, 28th on other grass types.
2014: Did not reach 30 rounds.
Summary: Grew up on bent in the Northeast but has definitely honed his game on bermuda, having lived in Jupiter for a while now. Still, his results still lean to bentgrass where the surfaces are generally a little easier to read putts. 
 
2017: Ranked 49th in bentgrass performance, 93rd on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 49th in bentgrass performance, 53rd on other grass types.
2015: Did not reach 30 rounds.
2014: Ranked 50th in bentgrass performance, 77th on other grass types.
Summary: The big hitter has finished top 50 in bentgrass performance in all three of his qualified years (since 2014). At the same time, he HASN'T finishing inside the top 50 in the OTHER category. Barely didn't meet the sample size in 2015, but he was also bent/poa positive that year, so perhaps we should boost him up to the LOVES BERMUDA category with an asterisk. 
 
2017: Ranked 79th in bentgrass performance, 91st on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 74th in bentgrass performance, 94th on other grass types.
2015: Did not reach 30 rounds.
2014: Ranked 68th in bentgrass performance, 100th on other grass types.
Summary: Basically a lite-version of Garrigus. He's pretty poor on Bermuda/Paspalum but consistently better on bent/poa. Like Garrigus, he narrowly missed the sample criteria in 2015, but was largely bent/poa positive that year, as well. 
 
2017: Ranked 13th in bentgrass performance, 23rd on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 51st in bentgrass performance, 77th on other grass types.
2015: Did not reach 30 rounds.
2014: Ranked 93rd in bentgrass performance, 106th on other grass types.
Summary: The Washington native has six career podium finishes. Four of them have come on bentgrass or poa. Looking at the past four years, his rank on bent/poa is at least 10 spots better every year. If we think 2017 is the "new baseline" for Stanley then we should consider him every week but we should really circle him for bentgrass or poa annua courses where he can really excel. 
 
2017: Ranked 19th in bentgrass performance, 21st on other grass types.
2016: Ranked 14th in bentgrass performance, 58th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 62nd in bentgrass performance, 106th on other grass types.
2014: Did not reach 30 rounds.
Summary: Looking at performance since 2016, Reavie has posted top-20 numbers when it comes to bentgrass and poa annua courses. His lack of distance makes him tough to get excited for most weeks, but we can't ignore these numbers in the bent/poa category. 
 
2017: Did not reach 30 rounds.
2016: Ranked 6th in bentgrass performance, 17th on other grass types.
2015: Ranked 12th in bentgrass performance, 35th on other grass types.
2014: Ranked 14th in bentgrass performance, 32nd on other grass types.
Summary: Anyone that has followed Sneds over the course of his career knows that he loves, loves, loves poa annua greens. He's won twice at Torrey Pines, twice at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and also won at Glen Abbey (Bent/Poa mixture on the greens). Last year at Torrey his caddie, Scott Vail, had this to say, "He has that pop stroke and he gets the ball rolling. He’s always loved po. The worse the greens are, he’s better on them. So many others putt defensively and he doesn’t." Gamers should continue to target Snedeker on bentgrass/poa greens. 
 
 

continue story »
12
Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp



Highest Searched Golfers over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Player News: Week 7

    Player News: Week 7
  •  
    Matchups: Week 7

    Matchups: Week 7
  •  
    Dose: Broncos Destroy Cards

    Dose: Broncos Destroy Cards
  •  
    DFS Analysis: Hopkins, Mixon

    DFS Analysis: Hopkins, Mixon
  •  
    Dose: Hilton expected back

    Dose: Hilton expected back
  •  
    Digging for a Trade?

    Digging for a Trade?
  •  
    Dose: Freeman to IR

    Dose: Freeman to IR
  •  
    Dose: Rodgers plays hero again

    Dose: Rodgers plays hero again