Golf courses give a lot of us the ambiance to relax, play the game, and have a swell time, even with friends and family.
Apart from a vast expanse of land, of course, the grass is the next biggest and arguably most important part of a golf course. Not only is it needed to cover most of the vast land, the type of grass determines the level of play you’ll experience playing golf on it.
Golf course grass is commonly known as turf grass, and the grass types used differ from region to region by their ability to withstand both cold and heat.
Turf grass differs from the regular lawn grass you may find in homes. Although some grasses used in home lawns can be used in golf courses. What separates regular lawn grasses from turf grass?
Suppose you’re a golf course owner, golf player, or even a lawn owner looking to grow some turf grass in your home and enjoy its many benefits. In that case, this article where I’ll show you some of the different golf course grass you can grow is for you.
But before then, let us see what separates lawn grass from turf grass.
Characteristics of a Golf Course Grass
why can’t you use the grass you planted on your lawn as turf grass? Here are the reasons why.
- Turf grasses need to withstand the cold or heat prevalent in the region: one of the major characteristics your turf grass needs to have is to withstand the prevalent temperature in that region. Be it cold or heat. It needs to stand still tall when this temperature hits. This is why different grasses are used in different regions.
- Needs to be tough: turf grasses usually receive heavy foot traffic, so a tough grass able to withstand this traffic without breaking down must be used.
- Turf grass needs to be resilient: the grass you use as turf grass needs to survive when cut very low as this level gives golfers a better golfing experience.
Artificial or Natural Turf for Golf Course Grass?
Like in your lawns, where you can decide to have synthetic lawns instead of growing one naturally, there is an option for you to use artificial turf for golf course grass.
Artificial Turf Grass
Although not many golf courses use synthetic grass, this grass type offers some unique benefits, which you’ll find difficult when growing your turf naturally.
- Fast turn-around time: one major reason people may prefer artificial grass over natural grass is its fast turn-around time. It requires no growing time. You can start using it almost immediately and don’t have to wait weeks or months for the grass to grow.
- Very little maintenance is needed: with natural grass, you’ll need to constantly mow, apply fertilizer, water, and generally tend to the grass for you to keep enjoying it. With artificial grass, most of all, these “stressful” activities are not needed.
Natural Turf Grass
With this turfgrass type, you have to grow it yourself. This gives you several options to choose from. Natural turfgrass may require more maintenance, but it is the preferable choice for golf courses.
You can decide to grow golf course grass from seed. To get your golf course grass seed, visit your local garden stores or order some online.
This is where we are focusing on in this guide.
Types of Golf Course Grass
There are several different golf course grasses you can grow. These grasses are dependent on the environment and personal choice on how you want your turf to feel and look.
Here are some of the more popular choices.
1. Bermuda Grass for Golf Course
It is befitting to mention this turf grass type first as it one of the most popular grasses used in golf courses.
Bermuda is a warm-season grass and, as such, is used majorly in warm areas that typically reach temperatures unconducive for several kinds of grass. Bermuda can withstand this hot temperature while continuing to give you a tough green lawn to enjoy.
Not only is Bermuda suitable for warm regions, but it can also be mowed quite low, which is necessary for golfers to enjoy the experience truly. Bermuda is also drought-resistant and repairs quickly.
Bermuda, however, will die in colder regions or when the weather gets too cold.
Bermuda is best suited to southern climates where the temperature is higher, and the possibility of drought is higher. With the growing water cost in that region, you do not want to grow grass to increase your water needs further.
This is arguably the second most popular golf course grass out there. While Bermuda is best suited to warmer regions, bentgrass can withstand the colder regions, not even its most attractive characteristics.
Aside from the fact this grass type is aesthetically pleasing, it grows quite short, allowing it to be mowed even lower without harming the grass. Remember, shorter grass leads to a better golfing experience.
Bentgrass is more commonly grown on fairways on golf courses. It can withstand heavy traffic because it grows thick.
Bentgrass does not require too much water to grow and is suitable for Northern climates where the weather is cooler. It can also thrive in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and Pacific Northwest.
3. Fescue Grass for Golf Course
Fescue grass is a cool-season grass that can withstand colder temperatures and some degree of heat. This makes it an attractive golf course grass for moderate regions experiencing both worlds.
Fescue grass can also be used on fairways and has a good feel and look to it. This grass will also make a nice playground for your kids if you’re looking to grow a golf-course lawn in your home.
Fescue is also placed in unmowed areas of the golf course because of its ability to grow quickly.
Perennial ryegrass is one of the most popular cool-season turf grasses around. It is usually planted on tees and fairways of golf courses. It has a fine texture like the fescue grass.
Its upright growing position creates less friction on the green. This type of grass allows for striping and other aesthetically pleasing designs on the turf.
Its smooth texture and deep green color are evident when adequately fertilized. Perennial ryegrass, however, does not spread through rhizomes like many other kinds of grass, so may need a little more work to spread it.
5. Zoysia Grass for Golf Course
Zoysia is a native Asian grass but has been in the US for more than a century and has become a popular golf course grass in that time. It is a warm-season grass best suited to warmer climes.
This is a creeping heat and drought tolerant grass that will save you a lot on irrigation. It grows into a thick grass suitable for both golf courses and lawns.
Its thick nature chokes out weeds and withstands heavy traffic. Zoysia can be used on tees and fairways. It is a slow-growing grass, but unlike ryegrass, it spreads quickly.
6. Poa Annua Grass
This grass is not so common as the rest on this list because it is an invasive species in most parts of the US. That notwithstanding, golf course owners on the West coast have used this grass excellently.
Poa annua is a low-growing grass, making it suitable as a turf grass and grows best in temperate regions. Although it does have annua “annual” in its name, you can grow several perennial species.
A major draw-back to this grass type is its shallow root, which makes it less durable and difficult to manage in your lawn as it needs enough water to continue to give you its beauty.
Golf course grasses can also be grown as lawn grasses for people looking to enjoy the feel of a golf course in their homes. These grasses are usually tough and resilient due to their traffic and can be cut low as that is the best level for a golf course.
The 6 listed golf course grasses are some of the most popular types you can adopt and grow in your golf course or as a golf course lawn.