Bent Grass VS Bermuda Grass – Comparing Two Types of Grass for Golf Greens

Last Updated on March 13, 2023 by Mattias

Bent grass and bermuda grass are most popular for putting greens, grass species commonly used in golf courses. These two varieties make up for pleasant turf grass, but bent grass has extravagant maintenance needs that eliminate it as an option for house lawns. 

But what exactly distinguishes between them? This article will discuss bent grass vs bermuda grass and their differences.

Bent Grass VS Bermuda Grass

These two are different types of grass, and their features oppose each other in several ways. Still, typically speaking, bent grass is a cool-season grass mostly used in the northern regions, whereas bermuda is a warm-season grass that loves heat and is likely to be found in southern states. Bent grass grows upright and can survive close mowing, establishing the fastest putting surface. The greens will roll off quicker on bent grass than bermuda grass, but bermuda is less likely to cause a break. Bentgrass greens are also smoother than Bermuda grass and have finer blades, but unlike bermuda, bent grass is unsuitable for house lawns.

In case you didn’t know, greens or putting green refers to the area around the golf hole where golfers use the putter. The grass is kept shortest in this area and needs certain features to aid the game. Unlike grasses such as poa annua, which creates a bumpy surface, bent grass and bermuda are great options for a golf course. Then again, site and climatic conditions strongly affect the grass type. 

The distinctions listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. Bent grass and bermudagrass differ greatly, so let’s dig in immediately.

Differences Between Bent Grass And Bermuda Grass

Bent Grass VS Bermuda Grass

Climatic Preference

As briefly mentioned above, bermuda is a warm season grass. This feature indicates that bermuda will thrive in the summer months. Its optimum growing season occurs in late spring and early summer when the sun is at its peak. It loves full sun and direct sunlight and can’t tolerate partial shade. It can stand in scorching heat and survive hot, dry drought conditions. Still, as soon as cooler temperatures arrive, bermuda suffers from environmental stress and enters a state of dormancy. What happens is that bermuda completely stops growing and focuses all its energy on surviving. It preserves itself, and in that process, it takes on an unsightly appearance. If you plant this grass in northern regions or a site where temperatures are typically cooler, your property will remain brown for the better part of the year. You can say that southern regions such as North Carolina and Florida are more suitable for this grass than the north.

Bent grass, on the other hand, is quite literally the exact opposite of Bermuda grass. Where bermuda grass loves heat, bent grass will only tolerate it if plenty of water is given. Despite its tolerance to heat and partial shade, it is a cool-season grass that performs much better in areas such as Alaska or Montana, where the temperatures are cooler. Its growing season occurs in moderately cold months, and you can plant the seeds in early spring or autumn. Unlike bermuda which goes into dormancy and turns brown, bent grass will likely remain green all year. 


The growth of their blades is undoubtedly the most important factor that distinguishes these two types of grass from one another. Bent grass has an upward growth that is a lot smoother than that of Bermuda. One of the reasons why bent grass is preferred is that the grain doesn’t affect the putt at all. The ball will hold the line and remain in the intended direction despite the direction of the blade’s growth. As golfers often say, you play the grain on a bent bermuda surface, but you play the slope on the bent grass greens.

Whereas natural bermuda grass has thick grass blades that are flat in appearance. These blades are not only severe, but they greatly affect the break of the putt. Garin growth determines the direction in which the ball will break, so golfers need to know how to read it. When talking about golf courses, Bermuda’s blades will grow in the west direction on the flat green grass, but in some rare situations of undulating greens, the blades will grow in the direction of the slope. Since it is important to know the west while playing golf, learning to read Bermuda’s grains makes it a lot easier for golfers. 


To state it as simply as possible, break refers to a ball’s movement in the right or left direction when you aim it in a straight line. The break occurs on putting greens due to contours, but it also determines how much the slope of the green. Bermuda grass and bent grass have different textures, and the former is much slower. One of the most important benefits of bermudagrass is fewer breaks when you putt it on its grains. If you notice that the grain is shiny, you can expect the least breaks and resistance while putting. However, if it seems dull, there’ll be a noticeable stumble.

The ideal mowing height for bentgrass ranges from 0.5 – 0.125, regarding the mower’s settings. Bent grass is tightly cut because when this grass grows tall, it develops crowns and becomes puffy. But how does this affect the break?

Bent grass has lateral growth, which means that its grain is flat. Although smooth blades are beneficial on flat ground and enable the ball to remain in a constant line, that changes when the ground undulates. As a result of the down grain, your ball will bobble and produce more breaks.


Speed is yet another huge difference that differentiates bent grass and bermuda grass. It is safe to say that green speeds determine how easily the golf ball rolls across the green and how much effort they’ll have to channel while putting the ball.

Bent grass has flatter grass blades that are not only fine but smooth as well. These blades promote a higher speed which causes the ball to roll off easily across the green. Bent grass is preferable for new or average golfers because its smoothness encourages consistency. The speed automatically increases when the flat blades cause a pure and effortless roll. 

Bermuda grass, on the other hand, is slightly complex in this situation. If you putt it against the grain (in the opposite direction of its growth), the speed will be lower. However, the speed will be accelerated if you are on an undulating green and the aim slows downward along with the grain’s growth. 


Consistency is a crucial factor while putting because golfers prefer their swings to be predictable and solid. Greens most certainly influence the consistency of the ball is why it’s important to read them beforehand.

For instance, bent grass has a high consistency because of its fine texture and smooth grass blades. It means that when the ball rolls off effortlessly, it will remain on the intended line and won’t falter. 

It will be difficult to read the break but remember that your ball will hold the line.

Much like other factors, Bermuda’s consistency also depends on the growth of its grains. When you putt on a sloping green, the pace will be fast, and breaks will be low. However, the pace will be less firm and slower when you putt it in the opposite direction of grain growth. Also, the ball will be more likely to stumble away from the line you started on.

Are Bent Grass And Bermuda Grass Similar

golf ball lying on green grass on a golf course

Apart from the main differences listed above, these grasses are similar in some ways. Take a look below to learn what they are.


Genus refers to the botanical name of a plant, and it is used to categorize different plants under appropriate categories. Since each plant belongs to a certain family species and order, they can be traced back to their origin.

Bermuda grasses (Cynodon dactylon) has cynodon as its genus, and it can be traced back to the Poaceae family and poales order.

Bent grass’s genus is agrostis. It has over 100-200 species, and surprisingly, this cool season grass also stems from the Poaceae family and poales order.

You can say that this specific similarity between bent and Bermuda grass is more of a scientific analogy.


Another similarity between these two types of grasses is the nature of their function and primary use. Both bent and bermuda are used in golf courses (greens, to be specific), showing the best results for the task. Turfgrasses are narrow-leaved grasses that tolerate low mowing heights, perform well under heavy foot traffic, and establish uniform ground. Bent grass greens and bermudagrass greens share these qualities, so that they can be classified as turfgrasses.

Bent grass is used in lawns because it can tolerate a very short height, and its fine blades enable the ball to roll off a putt quite smoothly. It also forms a carpet-like appearance on the course, which is highly preferred. Similarly, bermuda also forms a dense turf and tolerates short mowing heights. 

Which Grass Is Easier To Putt On

Regarding putting, bermuda grass greens, bent grass, and poa annua are the most commonly used grass species in the United States. To answer your question, bent grass has an upward growth, meaning the surface is smooth, and the golf ball will remain on the line. Unfortunately, bermuda doesn’t offer the same advantage. Its growth differs based on the direction of grain growth and the quality of bermuda greens.

It would be easier for an average golfer to read bent grass than bermuda grass. Bent grass is tightly cut, so it breaks more and holds a higher consistency. It is favorable for average golfers because the ball is likelier to hold the line and measure high on a stimpmeter.

Bermuda, on the other hand, forms a grainy putting surface. The ball will perform differently based on the growth of the grain, but it’s not as complex as it sounds. Golfers tend to learn the signs, and grains are extremely easy to read. For instance, if the grain is shiny, then the break will be lower, and putt will be firm, but if it’s visibly dull, then the golfer should expect bumps.

It is safe to say that bermuda grass is a more challenging surface to putt on, and the grain growth might not be easy for an average golfer to read. However, superior golfers and best players excel in reading different grass types.

Advantages Of Between Bent Grass vs Bermuda Grass

Bent grass Bermuda grass
High consistencyDrought tolerant
Smooth and fine leaf bladesLess breaks
Suitable for cooler climatesSuitable for high humidity and warmer climates
Easier to readGrain can be identified by the color
Tolerates low mowing heights Tolerates sharp and extreme heat

Disadvantages Of Between Bent Grass vs Bermuda Grass

Bent grass Bermuda grass
More breaksInconsistent 
Faster speed is not always beneficialNeeds regular mowing because of fast growth
Creeping bent greens often get out of controlDoesn’t tolerate shade and low temperatures at all
Maintenance needs are extremely highHighly susceptible to pests and diseases
Incompatible with other species Fertilizer requirements are high

BentGrass VS Bermuda Grass Summary

Now that you know the details about these common grass species, we hope it helped you settle the debate between bent grass vs bermuda grass. In light of all the pre-explained facts, it can be concluded that both bent and bermuda are the best grass choices as long as they are planted in the appropriate region. You can say that they are each other’s alternatives. Where bermuda can’t be grown in cold weather, bent grass will love that, and bermudagrass will be a viable option where bent grass can’t survive in high temperatures.

To put it simply. Bermuda will thrive in warm climates, whereas bent grass is best suited for northern states. Both types of grass have similar functions but the biggest difference is that they perform this function in different parts of the country.

We hope this article answers your questions and clears your doubts. If you found it helpful, share it with your friends and family.

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