Poa Annua Performance

The Fantasy Golfanac takes a look at fantasy golf performance and separates it out based on each grass type used. When the green surfaces are poa annua, they don’t have the grain you get from bermuda, but they are known to get very bumpy as the day progresses.

If you play in formats where you can swap in-and-out for each round, it is very beneficial to target the A.M. tee times even more so when poa annua greens are on tap. Some golfers can figure out how to putt on them, others get baffled.

* Minimum 30 rounds to qualify. Stats are time-weighted and adjusted to the strength of competition.

Top 25 Performers on Poa Annua Greens (since 2014)

Dustin Johnson (3.747 strokes gained:total)
Jason Day (2.948 strokes gained:total)
Rory McIlroy (2.93 strokes gained:total)
Justin Thomas (2.787 strokes gained:total)
Paul Casey (2.687 strokes gained:total)
Tyrrell Hatton (2.679 strokes gained:total)
Adam Scott (2.641 strokes gained:total)
Tommy Fleetwood (2.622 strokes gained:total)
Justin Rose (2.582 strokes gained:total)
Patrick Cantlay (2.527 strokes gained:total)
Brooks Koepka (2.509 strokes gained:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.502 strokes gained:total)
Bubba Watson (2.48 strokes gained:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.452 strokes gained:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.435 strokes gained:total)
Tony Finau (2.41 strokes gained:total)
Jon Rahm (2.344 strokes gained:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.341 strokes gained:total)
Xander Schauffele (2.188 strokes gained:total)
Patrick Reed (2.081 strokes gained:total)
Gary Woodland (2.046 strokes gained:total)
Charles Howell III (1.995 strokes gained:total)
Cameron Smith (1.974 strokes gained:total)
Brandt Snedeker (1.952 strokes gained:total)
Kevin Na (1.929 strokes gained:total)

Top 25 Poa Specialists
(Poa vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Freddie Jacobson (1.511 sg:poa vs. 0.45 sg:total)
Tyrrell Hatton (2.679 sg:poa vs. 1.746 sg:total)
Alex Prugh (1.22 sg:poa vs. 0.298 sg:total)
Carlos Ortiz (1.48 sg:poa vs. 0.581 sg:total)
Sangmoon Bae (1.05 sg:poa vs. 0.167 sg:total)
Scott Stallings (1.671 sg:poa vs. 0.806 sg:total)
Scott Langley (1.288 sg:poa vs. 0.474 sg:total)
Patrick Rodgers (1.577 sg:poa vs. 0.859 sg:total)
Cameron Smith (1.974 sg:poa vs. 1.259 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (2.48 sg:poa vs. 1.824 sg:total)
Danny Willett (1.23 sg:poa vs. 0.592 sg:total)
Max Homa (0.651 sg:poa vs. 0.036 sg:total)
Dustin Johnson (3.747 sg:poa vs. 3.151 sg:total)
Jonas Blixt (1.221 sg:poa vs. 0.676 sg:total)
Jason Kokrak (1.911 sg:poa vs. 1.433 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.641 sg:poa vs. 2.164 sg:total)
Michael Thompson (1.286 sg:poa vs. 0.826 sg:total)
Bronson Burgoon (1.153 sg:poa vs. 0.7 sg:total)
Tyrone Van Aswegen (0.867 sg:poa vs. 0.419 sg:total)
Derek Fathauer (0.543 sg:poa vs. 0.095 sg:total)
J.B. Holmes (1.803 sg:poa vs. 1.387 sg:total)
Kevin Streelman (1.645 sg:poa vs. 1.231 sg:total)
Robert Streb (1.09 sg:poa vs. 0.688 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.435 sg:poa vs. 2.034 sg:total)
Matt Jones (1.324 sg:poa vs. 0.932 sg:total)

Top 25 Poa Anti-Specialists
(Poa vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Rickie Fowler (1.417 sg:poa vs. 2.478 sg:total)
Byeong Hun An (0.549 sg:poa vs. 1.453 sg:total)
Martin Piller (-0.938 sg:poa vs. -0.059 sg:total)
Shawn Stefani (-0.041 sg:poa vs. 0.759 sg:total)
David Hearn (-0.05 sg:poa vs. 0.726 sg:total)
Andrew Putnam (0.326 sg:poa vs. 0.995 sg:total)
Ben Crane (-0.08 sg:poa vs. 0.566 sg:total)
Tiger Woods (1.71 sg:poa vs. 2.268 sg:total)
Davis Love III (-0.55 sg:poa vs. 0.007 sg:total)
Francesco Molinari (1.456 sg:poa vs. 1.995 sg:total)
Cody Gribble (-0.614 sg:poa vs. -0.087 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (1.675 sg:poa vs. 2.199 sg:total)
Rory Sabbatini (0.467 sg:poa vs. 0.987 sg:total)
Ryan Armour (0.397 sg:poa vs. 0.908 sg:total)
Chris Kirk (0.654 sg:poa vs. 1.164 sg:total)
Seamus Power (0.127 sg:poa vs. 0.636 sg:total)
Sean O’Hair (0.413 sg:poa vs. 0.891 sg:total)
Andrew Landry (0.207 sg:poa vs. 0.674 sg:total)
Brice Garnett (0.128 sg:poa vs. 0.584 sg:total)
Kevin Chappell (1.037 sg:poa vs. 1.486 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (1.625 sg:poa vs. 2.072 sg:total)
Chad Campbell (0.321 sg:poa vs. 0.734 sg:total)
David Lingmerth (0.507 sg:poa vs. 0.901 sg:total)
J.T. Poston (0.617 sg:poa vs. 1.001 sg:total)
J.J. Spaun (0.594 sg:poa vs. 0.976 sg:total)

Last Updated: June 9th, 2019

Golfer Quotes

Q. How does a guy from Sacramento end up being a Texas Aggie?
It was just through the recruiting process. I played a tournament in Houston. Kind of a funny story. JT asked me if I would come to the campus. I probably would not have gone and looked at A&M. I saw it just kind of fell in love compared to all the other schools I was looking at.

And for me, just to kind of get a little away from home, too. Slightly different weather conditions. I didn’t grow up on bermuda; for me it was poa and bent, so it was really new to me. I thought it was kind of a good choice. -2018 CC of Jackson

CHRIS KIRK: I asked Chris Kirk why he can read the greens this week @DellTechChamp but had trouble last week @TheNTGolf [Ridgewood CC]. His response? “I suck on poa annua.” -2018 TPC Boston, Mike McAllister

ADAM HADWIN: The main cause of his struggles was a club that is usually his chief asset – the putter. However on the bumpy poa annua grass, he looked just average with the flat stick. The Abbotsford, B.C., product needed 36 putts on the day and had six three-putts in an eight-hole stretch. He was ranked 155th out of 156 players in Strokes Gained: Putting. “These greens are really tough. The poa is awful and it makes every putt a tough one. It’s like Pebble Beach but faster.” -2018 U.S. Open (Shinnecock Hills), TSN

Q. Being from the west coast, I know you’ve had success at a lot of different golf courses, but do you feel more comfortable out here, not just on this golf course but just generally?
Yeah, it’s nice to be in California. I love California, it’s where I grew up, I feel very comfortable here. UCLA’s just down the road so I know where to eat. And when everyone’s saying it took them an hour and a half to get back to Beverly Hills yesterday afternoon, I say that’s normal. So I think there’s something to that, something to being used to poa annua and growing up on golf courses that are kikuyu grass because I think it might be the only one we play all year with kikuyu grass. I think it all adds up, I feel comfortable here, I like the golf course and I think that helps. -2018 Riviera

Q. Couple things, do you have a secret or formula for putting poa that’s got a lot of traffic on it?
No, actually, I don’t. So typically this week, because we have amateurs, the conditions are a little bit softer, they’re not as quick. As the weekend goes on, they probably tend to get a little bit quicker with nice conditions. But over, if we have bad weather then they’re just slow and they just stick with everything. So being a little bit more aggressive is key. Like now when you have fast greens with poa annua that’s bouncing, that’s the scariest putting surfaces you could ever putt on. I know Torrey Pines kind of gets like that a little bit, especially on south side. This week they kind of manage it pretty well. I talked to Tiger about it and he has a certain different stroke that he uses on poa annua. I don’t know how people do it. I think of nothing when I putt. Other than I think of the hole and hit it. But, yeah, he does some sort of pop stroke or something or other and it gets it going over. But I just try and hit it a little bit harder, I guess. I don’t try and change anything because I want to try and keep it as simple as can be. So saying that, I just do the exact same and just hit a little bit firmer just to try to get it rolling so if it does take a few bounces it will be quick enough to bounce over them and hopefully hold the line. -2018 Pebble Beach

Q. Speaking of aggressive, when you get greens like this that are not only poa annua but get a lot of traffic on them do you have any type of anti-aggressiveness when you get 18, 20 feet to make sure you don’t have three coming back?
Yeah, certainly you want to kind of try and die them in. It’s kind of a Catch-22 there because if you really want to make mid-range putts, they need to have pace at the hole. But if you’re going to do that you’re going to have three, four feet coming back and those are the knee knockers that you don’t want on these type of greens. So certainly leaving the ball below the hole is important, just because you’re obviously able to make a more aggressive stroke and that’s kind of where I got kind of handcuffed today a little bit, left a few shots that I hit good shots as far as proximity, eight to 15 feet, but they were kind of downhill, side hill putts and like you said, I can’t be that aggressive on those. So it will be key the next couple days to try and keep the ball below the hole where I can make good, confident aggressive strokes. -2018 Pebble Beach

Q. How about this particular tournament here with the greens? Sometimes we talk about the greens out here in California can be a little difficult. How much has that affected how much you had to adjust from any other greens coming into this season?
They’re always, you just have to have more patience with them. And when you look up and you see a putt missing, it’s really the ones that are inside 10 feet that you’ll just see guys miss more of them here than they do anywhere else. And that’s just, there’s some, there’s more that’s out of your control with footprints and just the spongy grass, the poa annua grass. So there’s no avoiding it. It’s just you have to have a higher level of patience on it and just accept that you’re going to miss more putts than you’re used to. -2018 Pebble Beach

Hudson Swafford: Yeah, I kind of struggled after the win a little bit, nothing with the win, it was just kind of struggled, I kind of struggled on the West Coast poa, I’ve done that my whole career so fortunately this year I get to take a few of those events off. -2018 CareerBuilder

Q. You’re a California guy. Are you used to poa annua greens?
Oh, love it. I grew up on it, I grew up on greens way worse than this at times. So yeah, nothing like a little afternoon poa to get you going. -2017 Silverado Resort

Q. A quarter of your wins have been in California. Is it a matter of just feeling comfortable on these courses or is there something else that you can pinpoint to your success?
I think a lot of guys struggle with the poa annua greens, which is a grass that I grew up playing so I’m very comfortable on the greens. When you grow up and spend most of your time back east in Florida on the bermuda, this is a very awkward surface to putt on. The color looks different, it’s hard to sometimes read. But when you’re used to it, I don’t know of much better surfaces than these right here. -2017 Silverado Resort

MAVERICK McNEALY: Poa annua greens, it always seems like the guys who hit the putts the most solid and have the best pace control tend to do the best. I’ve grown up playing poa annua and it’s a grass that’s pretty unique to the west coast so I think it’s a bit of an advantage for me. -2017 Silverado Resort

Q. Has one of the biggest learning curves been learning the different grasses on different courses each week?
I’m good on all of them, bermuda is the one that’s a little harder just because I grew up on poa annua. So the West Coast Swing plays right up my alley. -2017 East Lake

Hideki Matsuyama: But the greens are poa annua greens, so that will be challenging for me. -2017 Glen Oaks

Q. What about the switch from West Coast poa, etc., to this?
I’ve never been so happy to see grainy bermuda. It was kind of funny, Sunday I had about an 8-footer on 10 starting out. It jumped straight in the air as soon as I made contact. And I looked at Brandon after I walked off the green and I said, “Well, there’s good news in this,” I said, “17 more holes and we get to go to grainy bermuda, I can’t wait.”
I’m just glad to be back in some warm weather and some humidity and on bermudagrass. -2017 Honda

GEORGE McNEILL: Being back in Florida, I feel a little more comfortable, back on bermudagrass and bermudagreens. The stuff out west, I can’t putt out there. Being back in Florida, it helps. -2017 Honda

Q. Brandt, as someone who’s been a great putter since birth, do you feel you have a bigger advantage on pristine greens or less-than-great greens?
I love poa annua so I think I have an advantage on poa annua because, for whatever reason, I’ve always putted really well out here. I have a patience level to be able to do it. I’ve always putted really well on bent. For whatever reason I’ve struggled on bermuda a little bit. I have a tough time reading grain even though I grew up on bermuda greens, too those have kind of been my weak links, I guess. I struggled in Hawaii this year. I seem to struggle there every year putting for whatever reason. But I think poa is my favorite surface to be on. To love poa, you’ve got to love days like today where you hit good putts and they don’t go in and that’s just part of it. -2017 Torrey Pines

PAUL CASEY: It adds to the beauty because I love playing on po greens. They’ve got a little bent in there as well. -2016 Travelers

PHIL MICKELSON: I think, first of all, the setting is spectacular. But the greens being poa annua are what I grew up on, so it’s a grass I feel comfortable. Not just putting on, but chipping on, chipping into and hitting full shots into. It can be challenging for guys if they’re not used to it. It’s something that I’ve become very comfortable with over the years. -2016 Pebble Beach

SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, these kind of greens are the kind of greens I grew up on, the poa annua greens. Like you said, good memories. -2016 Pebble Beach

KEVIN KISNER: I always struggle on the West Coast. A good ol’ Southern boy doesn’t putt on poa annua too well. I’m getting back to some grass that I like. -2015 Harbour Town

KEVIN KISNER: This is just what I grew up on [Bermuda]. Guys that are from the West Coast complain by the grain, and I don’t even look at grain here. So I just putt like I’ve always putted. And I guess that’s why I’m not very good on the poa annua, and they laugh at me out there. –2015 Harbour Town

Russell Henley: Those West Coast tournaments can be brutal, I feel like those greens are really hard to putt on, and they are not easy courses. -2015 Honda

ANDRES GONZALES: I like tree-lined courses with big trees, and poa annua grass is what I’ve grown up on with the greens, so I feel pretty comfortable out here. -2014 at Silverado Resort and Spa

All quotes from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.

This article has 21 comments

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  9. Hi Josh –

    Hope all is well. Can you please update your report “Performance in Cold Weather” for the most up to date numbers? Thanks as always.

    Thank you,

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  11. Hey Josh –

    Can you please refresh a couple of the relevant reports for this week?
    Driver-Heavy Course Performance
    Long Course Specialists
    Par 70 Course Specialists

    Much appreciated and good luck this week

  12. Hi Josh –

    Can you please update:
    Performance in Cold Weather
    Less-than-Driver Course Performance

    Thank you,


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