Types Of Golf Course Grass

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it’s no surprise that golf courses are kept in immaculate condition (most of the time).

The type of grass used on a golf course can make all the difference between an enjoyable round and a frustrating one.

In this article, we’ll explore different types of grass used on golf courses, their benefits and drawbacks, how to maintain them, and their environmental impact.

No matter what kind of golfer you are, understanding these different grasses will ensure you have the best experience possible when playing your favorite sport.

So let’s get started!

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Discovering the type of turf you are playing off can affect the way you play the game, so let’s take an overview of the options available!

Golf course grass comes in many varieties, each with different characteristics and benefits. Generally, you’ll find these main types:

  • Bentgrass is very fine-textured and grows well in moderate climates. It generally has more disease resistance than other types of grass.
  • Bermuda grass is a warm-season perennial that thrives in warmer temperatures and provides excellent playability year-round.
  • Zoysia grass is also known for its durability and ability to tolerate drought conditions better than other turfgrass varieties.
  • Fescue is a cool-season variety that offers superior wear tolerance but requires frequent mowing to maintain color and texture.
  • Rye is commonly used for overseeding in the fall when Bermuda tends to go dormant. It can require a fair amount of water so probably not the best choice if water is at a premium
  • Poa annua or annual meadow grass is often derided as a choice for greens but some of the best putting surfaces in the world are poa – Oakmont and Winged Foot for example. If maintained correctly you can get some excellent greens using poa annua.

Each type of golf course grass offers different advantages depending on the climate in which it’s grown and the level of maintenance desired by the greenkeeper or owner. So when choosing a golf course turfgrass, consider all these factors before making your final decision.

Pao and bentgrass greens


To a large degree, the types of grass used will be determined by the location of the golf course. A golf course built in a desert is probably going to need species of grass that can survive with small amounts of water or even tolerate salt water if it is close to the sea and the water can be piped to the course unless, of course, the club has a fortune to spend on water management.

The types of grass used on putting surfaces may also be quite different from the types used on the rest of the course.

Uncovering the different varieties of putting green turf is a must for any serious golfer today. There are many types to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.

The most popular type is bentgrass, which is known for its soft texture and bright green color. It requires frequent maintenance but offers great ball roll and shot performance.

Perennial ryegrass is another common type of grass used on golf courses, as it can handle high-traffic areas better than other varieties. It also provides good ball roll, but may be more difficult to maintain if not watered properly.

Poa can also withstand a fair amount of traffic and also poor growing conditions.

Zoysia grass has a thick-cut appearance that helps reduce the amount of time it takes to mow a course, while still providing excellent playing conditions.

Bermuda grass is often found in warmer climates due to its tolerance of heat and drought conditions; however, it does require more frequent watering than other varieties.


Finding the right putting green turf can give you a great advantage on the course, with each variety offering its own unique benefits. Whether you’re looking for improved playability or better water retention, different types of grasses have distinct advantages that make them desirable for a particular course.

Here are five major benefits to keep in mind when selecting a type of golf course grass:

  • Improved Playability: Certain types of grass are designed with increased ball roll and less friction in order to provide better performance on the fairway and greens.
  • Durability: Some varieties can withstand heavy traffic more effectively than others, making them ideal for public courses with high foot traffic.
  • Water Retention: Different types of grasses require varying amounts of moisture, making some more suitable for certain geographical areas and climates.
  • Aesthetics: Golfers appreciate lush and healthy greens that look inviting, and inviting visuals are also beneficial to driving more business to courses.
  • Low Maintenance Costs: Certain types of grass require less upkeep than others, and this can lead to significant savings in both time and money over the long run.

These benefits demonstrate why it’s important to carefully consider which type of golf course grass is best suited for your needs. Each variety has something unique to offer that could be just what you need to improve your game or attract new customers!


Comparing the different options can help you decide which one works best for you, so let’s take a look at how they stack up!

Grass TypeProsCons
BermudaHeat & drought tolerant; requires little maintenance; excellent color retention.Requires regular mowing and water during dry spells. Susceptible to disease in overly shaded or wet areas.
ZoysiaDrought tolerant; good for infertile soils; deep roots that require less mowing.Requires more maintenance than Bermuda grass and is susceptible to disease in colder climates.
BentgrassLow maintenance; great for cooler climates with adequate rainfall; smooth playing surface.Very high maintenance requirements and prone to fungus infection in hot weather. It is also not very heat or drought tolerant.

When choosing between Bermuda, Zoysia, and Bentgrass, it comes down to climate conditions, soil fertility, and how much time you are willing to devote to the upkeep of your course’s turfgrass.

If you live in a warm area with low rainfall levels, then Bermuda grass may be the right choice for you due to its heat and drought tolerance as well as its comparatively low maintenance needs.

On the other hand, if your region experiences cooler temperatures with frequent rains then Bentgrass may be a better option since it has lower maintenance requirements compared to other cool-season grasses while still providing an even playing surface that looks great year-round. Finally, if your soil is infertile or lacks moisture then Zoysia could be an ideal choice because of its ability to thrive on poor-quality soils without requiring much water or fertilizer input from you!


Maintaining turf can be a tricky task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Picking the right type of grass is the first step to keeping your course in tip-top condition.

Different types of golf course grass require different levels of maintenance in order to stay healthy and look great.

Bermuda grass is one of the most popular types for golf courses because it requires very little water and fertilizer and is quite tolerant of shade. However, it does require regular mowing and aeration to maintain its lush green color.

Fescue is another common type used for golf courses. It thrives in cooler climates but needs more water than Bermuda grass to stay healthy and lush. Fescue also needs frequent mowing and fertilizing throughout the year, as well as regular aeration treatments during summer months to prevent thatch buildup.

With these practices in place, fescue can produce a beautiful surface that players will love.

Check out this section of the USGA website on turf care.

Environmental Impact

When planning for a golf course, one critical consideration is the type of grass. Different types of grasses require different levels of maintenance and come with different environmental impacts.

When selecting types of grass for your golf course, you’ll want to consider factors like how much water and fertilizer will be used, which kind of insects may be attracted to the turfgrass, and what kind of run-off or pollution is associated with each species.

You’ll also need to think about how long each species lasts before needing replacing or reseeding. All these considerations can have direct impacts on the environment – both positive and negative – so it’s important to do your research when making a choice.


Making the right choice when it comes to turfgrass for a golf course can have a huge impact on the environment and the playing conditions for the golfers!

Here are some things to consider when deciding which type of grass is right for you:

  • Consider drought-tolerant grasses such as Bermuda, zoysia, or St. Augustine grass. These types of grasses typically require less water and are better suited to hot climates.
  • Research other species that are native to your area. Native grasses tend to be hardier and require less maintenance than non-native varieties.
  • Choose a low-maintenance variety that doesn’t need frequent mowing or fertilization. Less maintenance means less energy used in caring for the lawn and fewer pollutants released into the air from power equipment.
  • Use organic fertilizers instead of synthetic ones, which can contain chemicals harmful to wildlife and plants in the ecosystem surrounding your lawn.
  • Look for certified organic seed options if you plan on seeding new turfgrass areas instead of sodding them with existing turfgrass plugs or sprigs.

Ultimately, choosing eco-friendly turfgrass is an important decision that should not be taken lightly since it affects both your property’s health as well as our planet’s health! By taking into account all these factors, you can make sure that you’re doing your part while still enjoying a lush green lawn!

Types Of Golf Course Grass: Conclusion

You now know that each variety has its own benefits and that there are many factors to consider when choosing the right type of grass for your course.

With proper maintenance, installation, and care, you can create a healthy, environmentally-friendly golf course with beautiful greens!

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