8 Types of Golf Course Grass You Need to Know

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Do you like the lush, vibrant green, and properly manicured look of golf courses?

Well, we all do!

And the type of grass a golf course has can significantly affect the overall golfing experience.

But hey, do you want to give the same fresh look of a golf course on your lawn?

Well, there are different kinds of golf course grass. While some do well in coastal, warmer climates, some do excellent in cooler temperatures, and others do best in a particular type of soil.

A lot of consideration and thought goes into selecting the suitable golf course grass.

Are you confused?

We get it.

And that’s precisely why we have come up with this post. Here, we have discussed all the golf course grass that you can get from the market. Also, we will tell you how to choose the best golf course grass for your private lawn and how you can maintain them.

Are you excited already?

Read on.

What Determines the Types of Golf Course Grass?

There are broadly two categories of grass for golf courses: cool-season grass and warm-season grass. The cool-season grass is resistant to sub-freezing temperatures and the warm-season grass can withstand high temperatures of up to 80 to 90 degrees F. Depending on your suitability and the time and types you want to grow, both are perfect for your golf course.

Cool-Season Grass

If you plan to have cool-season grass, know that they do great in the spring and fall. They love to stay in temperatures between degrees F.

If the temperature drops below 32 degrees, these kinds of grass remain green even then.

And did we tell you that the cold-season grass is resistant to subfreezing temperatures too?

Some examples of this grass are Annual Ryegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Warm-Season Grass

Do you live in a hot climate region?

Then warm-season grass would be the right choice for you.

In the months of summer, they achieve their highest height. They grow best in temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees F.

This kind of grass is really the queen or king of summer. This means if the temperature goes lower than 50 degrees F, then the chances are that it will lose its vibrant green color. But, of course, for that, the temperature will have to remain low for quite some time.

Some warm-season grass includes Kikuyu grass, Centipede grass, Zoysia, Bahia grass, and Bermuda grass.

Apart from the cool and warm-season grass, there is something known as transition grass. This kind of grass can thrive between the period of summer and winter.

Depending on the climate and sub-climate of a region, a particular kind of transition grass is grown. The Tall Fescue grass, for example, will grow well in the sub-climate regions of the central and northern transitional zones in the USA, but as we already mentioned, this is a cool-season grass.

Also, the Bermuda grass can thrive in the transitional zones of the southern part, but you already know that this is a common warm-season grass.

Should you Choose Natural or Artificial grass for a Golf Course?

With golf course grass, you get to decide whether you want to have artificial turf or go for the ones that grow naturally.

Artificial Grass

You will indeed find not many golf courses that use artificial grass. But you can’t deny that this kind of golf course grass offers certain advantages. You will not get these benefits with natural turfs.

So, what are those benefits?

Keep reading.

  • Little Maintenance

If you go for natural grass, you will need to constantly take care of the grass. This includes mowing, watering, and applying fertilizer. But the case is not the same with artificial grass. You don’t have to do all this hard maintenance work with the latter.

  • Quick turnaround Time

A significant number of people prefer artificial grass because of its quick turnaround time. It doesn’t need time to grow. Once you get hold of it, you can instantly begin using it. And the best part is that you don’t need to wait for months for your grass to grow.  

  • Sustainable

If you go for natural grass, know that it will need a lot of fertilizer. Also, you need to be consistent with irrigation to eventually come through. For example, in the months of summer, a golf course with regular grass needs about 100000 to 1000000 gallons of water every week to keep healthy. However, if you opt for artificial grass, this need is eliminated entirely.

Natural Grass

If you choose to go with a natural grass type, know that you have to grow it all by yourself. It means you will need to invest more time in maintenance. But this grass is the most preferable when it comes to golf courses. And did I tell you, you get multiple options to choose from?

Types of Golf Course Grass

So, here is the list of the various Golf Course Grass you need to know before you plan to fix (in case of an artificial one) or grow. Each one is unique in its own way and requires a considerable amount of effort and care. But do not forget to peruse the article before making a final decision. It will help you understand in a much better way; which one do you need?

Read on to know all about the different types of golf course grass.

#1. Bentgrass

Bentgrass

Do you live in a region where the temperature is more on the cold side throughout the year?

Then you might be playing on Bentgrass!

This type of grass is perfect for places with cold temperatures. And it can thrive through the months of winter on a golf course.

This grass is quite similar to Bermuda grass. Don’t worry if you already have greens. You can use Bentgrass on greens with ease. You can then roll them down if you want to create some speed. And you get to mow it tight too.

Are you one of those people who don’t play golf that much?

Then, buddy, the chances are that you will have a hard time getting a clear concept of cutting the grass short.

This weekend, if you plan to visit your yard and trim your grass when it is still ½ inch thick, you are probably going to kill it!

Generally, the grass that is there in your yard is not the same as the golf course grass. If you cut the former so short, they will not be able to withstand it.

Now, don’t get frustrated. It is quite common. Your mowing skills will not be able to make the grass survive. It’s because you cannot cut all the grass this short.

As Bentgrass can be cut short, it is widely used on golf courses worldwide. And you might already know the shorter the grass, the better the golfing experience.

When Bentgrass grows, it becomes pretty thick. And did you know that it is durable too?

It can make a golf course look gorgeous throughout the year. It is used on green surrounds and in the fairways where there is somewhat more traffic. If you walk and trample on Bentgrass, it bounces back beautifully.

If you plant Bentgrass in areas where I have mentioned, you don’t need to soak them in water to make them stay alive.

When people plant it in some other climate zones than the recommended zones, they may lack the ability to thrive and survive in that region. So always make sure that you plant Bentgrass in their recommended region and temperature. This way, you can ensure that this golf course grass will thrive.

#2. Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass

The most used and most loved golf course grass is Bermuda grass.

If you travel through the warmer states such as Florida, you will find Bermuda grass all around you. In most cases, this is that one type of golf course grass that can hold up even in severe heat situations.

This is why people use this type of grass in regions where the temperature rises above 90 degrees. The golf course superintendents are responsible for keeping the grass on the golf course alive in different temperatures. They prefer Bermuda grass the most.

Humidity and heat can prove to be extremely destructive to golf course turf. However, if you plant Bermuda grass, it can hold up to it pretty well.

Did you know that you can mow Bermuda grass very short?

This is another advantage of using this grass on a golf course. You may already know how important it is to mow the grass short in most golf courses.

Talking about the length of grass on a golf course, it varies. While it needs to be kept very short in some places, the length of the grass may need to be taller in other places. Whatever the requirement is, you can mow Bermuda grass in various heights according to that.

If you live in states with warm weather, and if situations such as drought and less rain arrive, know that Bermuda grass can be highly tolerant of that.

However, this type of golf course grass doesn’t do well in cold regions. If the temperature doesn’t get warm and give Bermuda grass the time to heal and fill in, they will die.

What if you need to repair some patches of Bermuda?

Well, you can do that quickly and easily. This makes Bermuda grass a perfect option for private golf courses where people want perfection.

We like how drought-resistant Bermuda grass is!

This is another reason why people choose Bermuda grass for golf course grass.

As this type of golf course grass doesn’t need a lot of water, it saves on your water cost too!

#3. Ryegrass

Ryegrass

When it comes to Ryegrass, the chances are that you are going to find this type of golf grass in your neighborhood too. This is especially true if you live in a cold region.

However, perennial Ryegrass doesn’t survive very well in warmer regions. They hate the heat and the sun in the south.

It is often that people plant Ryegrass in order to fill in at any golf course. And of course, for a short period of time.

Not clear? Let me give you an example.

It comes in a deep green color and grows very fast. By the time other slow-growing grass grows and fills in, Ryegrass stands out from the rest and looks beautiful.

The Ryegrass that people use on golf courses is generally used in the fairways and tee boxes. It seems to look like Fescue grass if you mow it closely.

Has it ever happened to you that you went to a golf course that has perfect stripes in its fairways?

In that golf course, if you look down at the fairway, you will be able to find out how the mower went in and out when they were trimming or cutting the turf.

This look is extremely classic on a golf course. And did I tell you that you can do just that with 

Ryegrass?

When a golf course is stripped in that way, it looks visually appealing and lets people enjoy everything that it has to offer.

Now, when a golf course is this appealing, it can increase its overall revenue to a great extent.

As the Ryegrass is very fine in texture, you get to use it in several areas.

What I found not-so-appealing about Ryegrass is that it doesn’t spread fast.

Do you have a problem area on your golf course? Do you need the grass to grow back quickly?

Then Ryegrass would take quite some time.

Also, suppose any area on a golf course experiences a lot of traffic; in that case, it is not recommended to plant Ryegrass there.

#4. Poa Annua Grass

Poa annua grass

This type of golf course grass is mostly called by its short name Poa. And it is popular that way among golf course superintendents and golfers.

Poa grass is not that widely used in golf courses as other grass. However, it is worth mentioning, as it is still used and often enough.

You can see an abundance of Poa grass on the west coast. In the USA, some states deliberately want to keep this grass away, and for that, they do everything they can. This is because the Poa grass can be quite invasive at times.

However, others have used this grass’ feature in their favor on golf courses to make it look better.

Now, those in favor of planting Poa grass on the golf course like this grass mainly because it grows low, which is perfect for golf courses.

Grass that grows low doesn’t need much mowing in most cases. Also, even if you cut them short, they will not get damaged by the turf.

The major downside of using Poa grass on golf courses is that its roots are incredibly shallow. This suggests that if there is anything wrong with the turf, this grass will die fast. In addition, it can be quite a challenging task to fill in the large patches.

Another con of using Poa grass is that its color can be slightly different in some cases. If you look at them, you will think that there is something wrong with the grass, when in reality, it is just a variation of color pretty common to find in Poa grass. Of course, the color of the grass depends a lot on the time of the year when you are using it.

It can be a tough decision to make – whether or not to use Poa grass on a golf course. However, experts say that if this grass is naturally there on golf courses, you can use it rather than fighting it.

Overall, it is still an excellent grass to create a good surface area for trying and putting the golf ball in the hole.

Don’t you find Poa grass just good for golf courses?

Also Read: How Long Does it Take for Grass to Grow? – Complete Guide

#5. Zoysia

Zoysia

If you stay in the USA, you will know that Zoysia grass has been there for so many years. However, it has only recently become famous for use on golf courses.

If the region where you reside gets a warm season, you can get this grass for the golf courses there. For example, Zoysia grass is quite popular in southern areas such as Florida and Georgia.

Did you know that you can also grow Zoysia grass in your home, which is similar to some other golf course grass?

And did I tell you that many homeowners are ditching St. Augustine because of Zoysia so that they can save on their watering costs?

This type of golf course grass is popularly known for its drought tolerating trait, and you don’t need to irrigate it much.

If you use this grass – be it on a golf course or in your home – you will be able to save thousands of dollars a year. Isn’t that amazing?

As you already know, water is a limited natural resource. People in the golf business are learning ways to reduce their overall costs and keep the price down by reducing their water usage.

When you step on Zoysia grass for the first time and start playing, you will get to know how thick it is instantly. It grows extremely strong. And if you leave it for long, it will grab the club.

The golf people mostly do with this grass because they keep it thicker in the rough. And when it turns into a fairway, they lower it down.

If you want some variation in a golf course, you can use Zoysia grass.

Did I tell you that this type of golf grass can protect itself from weeds naturally?

How amazing, isn’t it?

For this, the credit goes to the thickness of the turf.

As Zoysia grass doesn’t give weeds any chance to grow up through it, you get less reason to spray and fertilize them. Now, this is something that makes this grass more attractive.

On the downside, the Zoysia grass is a medium to slow grower. Therefore, if you plant them on a golf course, you will need to have patience and wait for some time before you find them to grow fully.

But there is good news too! Once they grow completely, they will not take much time to cover large, expansive golf course areas – all thanks to their ability to spread fast!

So don’t be surprised if you find more and more golf courses using Zoysia grass on the fairways and tees.

There is no doubt in the fact that this type of golf course grass is here to stay – all thanks to its great natural characteristics!

#6. Fescue Grass

Fescue grass

If you think of Fescue grass, what comes to your mind first?

If you ask me, I would say the wide areas of overgrown turf! And that exactly is the characteristic of Fescue grass. 

Have you ever played on a northern golf course that has wide areas of drought and waste?

Then the chances are that the grass that was there was Fescue grass. This type of grass can be used in different golf course areas. However, the most popular area used is a long, overgrown area.

Not all golf courses are easy. Some are a lot challenging. If they want to make a golf course difficult, it will have narrow fairways, and the challenges will be on the sides. And Fescue grass can be thought of as a challenge.

If you hit a golf shot into thicker Fescue that is not manicured, you will have a very low chance of having a great shot by hitting it out. This is because your club will be under the grasp of Fescue, and if you try to swing it back, you will not be able to do so because of the thickness.

Now, don’t think that all Fescue grass does is punish the golf players! You can cut it short and choose to grow in the fairways too. This way, they work amazingly.

Don’t expect Fescue to do much on a southern golf course, as it is cool-season grass.

In most cases, the people in the golf course make use of Fescue in fairways. And if you have an idea about how Fescue grass looks, you will be able to tell that the grass that is used is Fescue from its color.

Compared to the other types of golf course grass, this grass is a bit lighter green in color. Once you get to know it, it will be easier for you to distinguish it from others.

Did you know that you can grow Fescue grass in your home as well?

It will be an excellent addition to your yard. 

And you can mow this grass at a variety of heights. No doubt, it will look pretty in your garden.

Fescue grass is capable of growing fast. So, in case there is a problem spot, you can rest assured that it will heal itself. Great, isn’t it?

In the end, I can say that if you visit the northern golf courses, you can see the use of Fescue grass in most of them.

#7. Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass

Smooth Stalked Meadow Grass

Smooth Stalked Meadow grass is quite similar to that of Bermuda grass. Both of them have pretty good resistance when it comes to typical wear and tear.

Also, if this type of golf grass experiences high levels of damage or footfall, they don’t take much time to recover.

On the downside, compared to other golf course grass, the Smooth Stalked Meadow grass has a bit thick texture. This makes it slow to establish. So, it can be hard to work with if you are trying to design as well as create a golfing range.

Now, did I tell you how color-rich the Smooth Stalked Meadow grass is?

This makes it perfect to use in summer sports grass such as golf courses and tennis courts.

You May Also Read: 16 Great DIY Grass Free Yard Ideas (With Pictures)

#8. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass

It doesn’t matter what the climate type is; Kentucky Bluegrass is such that you will find it just off the fairways in almost all golf courses around the country.

What most people like about this grass type is its hardy properties. Also, it grows well in almost all kinds of environments.

Now, give it some time, and you will be surprised how well it grows long.

There is a very slim chance of finding this grass on newer courses. However, if a golf course is over twenty-five years old, the chances are that you will find Kentucky Bluegrass on golf course fairways.

It was loved by people primarily because of its power to withstand heavy traffic from its discovery.

When it comes to newer courses, they prefer creeping Bentgrass on the fairways because it can tolerate low cutting, which makes the fairways better for playing golf.

You can grow golf course grass in our lawn as well – all thanks to their resilient and tough nature and the fact that you can trim them down to your preferred height. And not to mention the lush green vibe that they come with!

They look amazing and are sure to make heads turn.

But, of course, before you jump on to buy golf course grass, make sure that you consider your soil type and the climate. This will help you to make the right choice.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of golf course grass, which one is your favorite from my list?

Let me know in the comments!

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