What Kind Of Grass Do Golf Courses Use?

Last update: December 28, 2021

Golf courses are made to look like grassy wonderlands, they always look pristine and uniform and are a lawn lover’s dream. What if I told you that you could have your lawn looking like the fairway on a golf course?

It’s true that most golf clubs have highly-trained lawn experts on their grass day in day out taking care of it and making it as professional-looking as it is.

However, you don’t need to employ the world’s best lawn carer to have the same results.

Golf clubs use a number of types of grasses on their courses depending on a few things, the first being the part of the course that they are putting grass on.

As you know the fairway grass is a lot different from the green, and they are both much different from the rough. Another factor that the type of grass depends on is the climate and the soil underneath.

Most of the grasses that golf courses use are available to the general public and depending on your climate and soil, there is nothing stopping you from picking up this grass and placing it right at home in your front or back garden.

In this article, we’ll go through the different types of grass and explain why they may be a brilliant choice for you and your garden.

What Different Types Of Grass Are Used On Golf Courses?

Here is a list of the common types of grass you’ll expect to see on a golf course, along with an explanation of the types of environment they are used in.

Bentgrass

Bentgrass is a very common type of grass used on fairways of golf courses. It is popular due to its thickness and durability, meaning it can carry a lot of heavy traffic.

This is useful for a fairway as 90% of your time on the fairway will be walking or driving a cart. Bentgrass is normally seen in the Northwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Midwest of America.

This is because it does not tolerate consistent heat very well. However, Bentgrass thrives in the colder weather that is present in these parts of the country.

It is also a popular choice for golf clubs as it does not take a lot of water to stay green, this saves golf clubs a lot of money on irrigation.

Bentgrass seed is very fine and is often mixed with some fine sand to achieve an even seed distribution. Fertilizing for bentgrass should be done mostly in spring and autumn.

Bentgrass is perfect for your front garden if you live in the midwestern, pacific northwest, and northwestern areas of America.

It doesn’t take much looking after as it only needs frequent light watering and you don’t have to worry about scalping the green when you mow it short.

Bermuda

Bermuda grass is very durable and strong, this makes it a very popular choice when it comes to golf courses, it can withstand even the angriest golfer or the heaviest golf cart.

Bermuda grass is perfect for hot temperatures, as it’s suited to be very resistant to droughts and doesn’t mind the dry climate as it conserves water very well.

This makes Bermuda grass very popular in the southern states.

Because of its durability and ability to conserve water, it is very easy to look after if you decide to choose it for your lawn. It only needs to be watered deeply once a week, but make sure that the water hits a depth of six inches.

Bermuda grass will not be as green as other grasses in the springtime but come summer it will be greener than any of your neighbors’ gardens, even if that neighbor is a country club.

Poa Annua

Poa Annua grass is a type of golf course grass that is used primarily on the west coast of the United States. Poa Annua has very shallow roots, this makes it way less durable than any other of the grasses on this list.

Because of its shallow roots, after time the general wear and tear of players playing on Poa Annua grass can create lumps and hollows, making putting surfaces inconsistent.

Poa Annua grass is also quite difficult to maintain, it has to be hand-watered and fertilized regularly because it is very susceptible to grass diseases.

Poa Annua grass is also an invasive species of grass in most of the United States and the world. It is a very aggressive species and has been known to outcompete other plants and crops.

Due to its invasiveness and the fact that it is very difficult to maintain we don’t recommend planting this in your residential garden. So why do golf courses use it?

Due to its shallow roots, Poa Annua grass can be cut very short, this makes it perfect for greens because the short grass will create a great amount of speed that is perfect for golf tournaments.

Ryegrass

Ryegrass is a type of grass that golf clubs and courses use almost exclusively on the fairways and the roughs. It is another very durable species of grass, allowing it to withstand walking and playing for long periods of time.

It can also be cut very short allowing for some speed on the fairways. Many types of Ryegrass don’t self spread, however, so it may need some repair work if part of the turf is damaged or mowed too short.

Ryegrass is more common in the southern United States as it prefers warmer weather. It has no problem growing in colder areas, however, if the temperature drops below freezing (32 degrees F) the ryegrass will die.

Ryegrass is a great residential grass to have in your garden if you live in the southern United States where the weather doesn’t get below freezing.

Due to its durability, it only needs about 1 inch of water every two weeks making it very easy to upkeep, and unlike the Poa Annua, it is nowhere near invasive so the rest of your garden will be fine.

Ryegrass also has a soft texture making it lovely to sit on, and when properly fertilized it produces a fantastic deep green color that is sure to be the envy of your neighborhood.

Zoysia

Zoysia is another grass that is well suited for the southern areas of the United States. It is highly tolerant of hot climates and is very drought resistant.

You only need to water Zoysia grass once a week and only then about one inch of water. Zoysia is a very stiff grass that makes it very durable for fairways.

It also fills in any gaps in the turf automatically creating that lush uninterrupted green that you often see on fairways.

Zoysia grass is notoriously slow to come in, however, it does depend on the climate that you are in but the seed itself will take around 14 to 21 days to germinate.

During this time it is important to keep the ground moist. Good things do come to those who wait, however, as Zoysia grass creates a lush dense lawn that needs little upkeep.

Due to Zoysia being a perennial grass, it will grow back year after year if planted in the right climate.

Also because of its density, weeds find it very hard to sprout around Zoysia grass as it won’t be able to find enough room in the turf to penetrate.

If you live in the hotter climates and don’t mind waiting for a lush lawn, then Zoysia grass is a perfect option for your garden

How Do I Maintain My Golf Course Grass?

How Do I Maintain My Golf Course Grass?

The amount of water needed and the climate that you should plant your grass in differs with each type of grass.

However, to keep your lawn looking like a golf course it is important to follow a few basic rules.

One rule is to not overwater your lawns, no matter what grass you have you should always do some quick research on how often your lawn needs water.

Most homeowners make the mistake of buying an irrigation system, although they can be useful for big lawns, they aren’t necessarily needed.

It is more effective to water infrequently but deeply. This allows the roots of your grass to grow deeper to find water, getting more nutrients from the soil and making it more resilient to drought and disease.

If you water too frequently, the roots of the grass will not need to grow deeper and instead stay as shallow as possible, this makes them susceptible to diseases and also easily disrupted as they can be ripped easier.

When it comes to mowing your grass any mower is fine, but we recommend using a reel mower, a manual lawn mower that isn’t powered by gas or electricity.

Reel mowers work like scissors, they cut the grass as the blade spins from left to right, they are very gentle and are used across golf courses as there is little risk of reel mowers uprooting the grass.

With a reel mower, you can get a cleaner cut, making your lawn look even, much like a golf course.

When mowing your grass it is important not to cut the grass too short, it is best for you to maintain at least one or two inches in height to stop any chance of stunted growth in the grass.

If you would like a shorter cut then it is important to do this gradually, take it an inch at a time with each cut.

If you follow all of these steps then you are sure to have a lawn to be envious of, as beautiful and lush as any country club or golf course.