What Kind of Grass Do Golf Courses Use? 5 Types

The grass is the most important factor in golf. You might not put attention to the turf while playing golf in the fairways and golf clubs. The ultimate point behind the joys of playing golf in clubs is the well-cut and true grass type.

Grasses in golf courses are planted by keeping a wide range of factors in mind like climate, soil type, water availability, and most importantly the compatible type of grass for the region.

As a player, you are always looking for a good ball speed and ball lie, so you can give some extra meters of the run to your drive. This target can be achieved on the well-grown and cut, tough grass that is mowed quite perfectly.

But one thing you need to keep in mind is that not all the grasses grown in courses can be true for your yard or course too.

If you really love the idea of having a lush and uniform lawn that looks similar to the fairway of a golf course, you have to choose a compatible grass type for your climate

But you have reached the right place. In this guide, I’ll answer your problem regarding “What kind of grass do golf courses use?”. It’s just a matter of picking the best grass type for golf courses for your environment.

You will find the best grasses for golf courses that are perfect for golf playing. Furthermore, golf grasses on the basis of geographical locations are also explained in the guide.

I hope you would love the information.

Let’s dive into the guide.

Importance of grass type in golf courses

Grass-type featured in the golf courses has the major potential to impact the golfer’s strategy. The well-experienced person playing golf always know which ball hitting strategy can help him to achieve his goal.

The grass type and cutting height of the grass in the golf course determines the difficulty of courses. Shorter grass always favors the low friction that ultimately provides a powerful swing to the ball.

While in the long grass, the ball faces more friction to move and produces hurdles for a golfer to achieve its goal.

Most of the golf clubs have trained turf experts for the care of turf, their nutrients supply, irrigation, and cutting schedule. But all of this can be achieved in your residential lawn by following simple strategies like choosing the best grass type for golf courses for your regional climate and soil type.

Best grass types for golf courses

Here are some famous and top grown grasses for golf courses. All of these grasses are discussed with their turf qualities and environmental requirements.

 1. Bentgrass


Bentgrass is incredibly the most compatible grass for fairways on golf courses. The texture and strength of grass are two major reasons for the best suitability of grass for golf courses.

It grows very thick in the ground so it can tolerate much traffic without harming the turf. That thickness and sturdiness of grass make the bentgrass the best grass for golf courses.

The major benefit of growing bentgrass is its low requirement of water to stay green and healthy. This character of bentgrass helps the grower to save a lot of expenses on irrigation.

Bentgrass is the best grass for northern golf courses, as it loves the cooler nights and does not tolerate the consistent heat quite well. So, it makes it suitable for the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and most of the Midwest.

The one major feature of bentgrass that favors its reputation among golf courses is that you can mow it short without any fear of scalping the green.

If you are a homeowner in northern climates and looking for the best golf course lawn, Bentgrass is a perfect choice.

2. Bermuda grass


Bermuda grass has no match for its durability among the best grasses for golf courses. It is the most popular variety of grass for golf courses due to its lovely growth pattern and texture.

The durability, firmness, and stand up nature of turf to the abuse from golfers, are the shining features of Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass is the best golf grass for the southern regions having low availability of water and warmer climates.

The great thing for growing Bermuda grass widely on golf courses is its drought resistance as the irrigation expenses are heavy loads on the owner’s pocket.

Furthermore, being drought-resistant grass, it is the most suitable grass for residential lawns as well the low water availability areas like southern climates. 

Bermuda grass has no or very low impact on the consistent heat in the southern regions. Especially if your lawn is in the southern half of the northern lawn growing zones, go for the Bermuda grass.

Not matter that there are many other summer grasses present, but you will notice the Bermuda grass as the first grass to green up in spring and remain lush green during the hot summer months.

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3. Ryegrass


Ryegrass is the top grass in terms of quality from a texture standpoint. Not just in home yards, it is one of the most loving grasses in golf courses.

So much love for the ryegrass is its ability to grow similarly in versatile environments on fairways and in rough lands at the high ends of the golf courses.

Like bentgrass, ryegrass has the potential to withstand the high traffic, without harming the turf. Additional to traffic resistance, you get the deep green color lawn by proper fertilization.

Most of the perennial ryegrass varieties don’t have the potential to spread by themselves and they just grow from the seed. So you need to do some extra care to repair the grass in case of any damage.

Annual ryegrass has the potential of the quick establishment so it saves you a lot of time to care for new grass seed to grow and establish. 

Ryegrass is the best grass for golf courses in southern regions and does not withstand the cold temperatures that drop below freezing. In the hatch colder nights, ryegrass dies.

If you are living in the southern regions of the US, you can simply go for the annual ryegrass to get all year round greener grass-like professional golf courses.

4. Zoysia grass


Zoysia grass is another perfect grass seed for establishing a greener lawn for golf and it will perfectly be like the professional golf clubs.

Zoysia grows a little slower than the other varieties of grasses but has the stiffness and spreading nature by itself. The spreading and filling nature of zoysia grass makes it durable for traffic lawns or fairways.  

The great thing is that zoysia is highly tolerant to the hotter climates. It has drought-resistant nature and this characteristic of zoysia grass makes it the perfect grass for golf courses in hot climates. 

You will notice the high amount of zoysia grass growing in lawns and golf courses of southern states. Zoysia is considered the ideal choice for southern regions.

The one thing to keep in mind is that zoysia has a slowly growing nature so it can be a drawback for impatient homeowners to establish a new lawn in a few days.

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5. Poa Annua


Poa annua grass is mostly grown on golf courses along the West Coast of the United States. The reason behind its less use in other regions is its less durability in home yards.

Poa annua grass has less durability than the other varieties of grasses. The reason behind its less durability is its shallow root growth that does not withstand the high traffic and abuse of golfers.

In most parts of the USA, poa annua is considered an invasive species so I would not recommend you to go for poa annua for residential use. I personally don’t like to go for any invasive species.

In spite of being an invasive species, poa annua is widely present on the golf courses of the coastal regions. It often needs to be hand-watered, which is an extra expense to hire people for this task.

Poa annua has not good fame for home yards but it is a common grass for golf courses so it was worth including it in the list.

Care of Golf Course Grasses in a Residential Lawn

Picking the right type of golf course grass for your residential lawn is not enough, you will need to take great care of its maintenance. 

The success of any grass, in golf courses or home yards, in the form of greener lawn depends on maintenance practices and care. 

Mowing care of golf grass

Lawnmowers take the place of reel mowers nowadays. In a busy life routine, every person wants to save more time and lawn mowers are the real-time saver for yard maintenance.

Establishing a new golf course lawn needs consistent maintenance in form of mowing and lawnmowers are a good match but if you have the reel mower then go for it instead of a lawnmower.

Reel mowers are used on golf courses that’s why the clean-cut can be observed on the grass. 

The second important thing is cutting the height of the grass. Ideally, maintain the grass height is kept one to two inches but after proper establishment go for a shorter height to get the desired length.

Note: Letting the grass grow longer, encourages deeper root growth.

Watering care of golf grass

The most common mistake observed in the failed lawns is overwatering. It has become a common concept that grass gets more greener by more watering while the reality is totally inverse.

Overwatering the lawn causes serious problems to the health of the grass and onset the fungus molds in the grass.

The best practice is to water less frequently but deeply.

When you water your lawn less frequently, the roots will grow downwards in search of water and it ultimately improves the root strength.

But if you water too frequently, it will result in form of mold and a shallow root system that gets damaged with a little traffic.

Golf Course Grasses for various geographical locations

Each grass species works well for some unique geographical locations having compatible climatic conditions to grass requirements.

Geography and maintenance practices discussed above literally affects the growth and success of golf course grasses.

Climate has a major influence on the growth of any grass type. Colder climatic regions have better growth of golf course grasses while warm weather in southern regions affects the fairway grasses.

Similarly, a warm region of grass that needs constant warmth cannot grow in the northeast. Only the drought-resistant grasses thrive best in warmer/southern regions.

Here is a distribution of golf course grasses on the basis of geographical locations.

Southern grasses

Heat and dry weather conditions play a positive role in fairway conditions growing with southern regions grass like Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass is the most durable and perfect match for warmer regional courses and yards.

Bermuda grass cannot be grown in the Northeast regions due to harsh colder weather conditions that kill Bermuda grass.

Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass are also southern grasses but not suitable for growing on golf courses or yards.

Northern grasses

Northern grasses require less water and longer cold weather. Poa annua and Perennial ryegrass are the two perfect types of grass to be used in Northeast golf courses. 

The combination of bentgrass, Poa Annua and perennial ryegrass can also be used for northern yards. The cool, damp weather of northern climates protects the fairways during the summer season.

West and Northwest grasses

Bentgrass is the incredibly perfect match for the golf courses in the West and Northwest regions. Bentgrass is a thick grass along with high tolerance to withstand traffic. 

It has low irrigation requirements that ultimately cut a lot of expenses for irrigating the courses or yards again and again.

Additionally, bentgrass has the mind-blowing feature of no scalping of green even if it cuts too much shorter height again and again.

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